When I was a child my mother used to do what all frugal moms do. She made bread pudding. She said that it was you did when you had old milk, old bread and lots of eggs.
I loved those bread puddings, it is still one of my favorite desserts. The crusty top and the soft middle. The plump raisins soaking in the syrup that always forms at the bottom of the pan. There is no greater comfort food. Except for mac and cheese. It's a close call.
One of the reasons my mom's bread pudding was so good was she made it in a big bowl. No, wait that's two reasons! It's in a bowl so you get a nice moist middle (there's nothing worse than dry bread pudding) and then it's in a big bowl, so there's lots of it! It never lasted in our house, with three kids and two adults that pudding never made it past day two.
I have a friend who makes a good savory bread pudding, and that's also quite tasty. I don't make bread pudding like my mom, though mine's real good. She has a standard method, and I think she's lying about the proportions she actually uses. She claims that it's one slice bread, one cup milk and one egg. This can't be true, because I've seen her bread pudding and I think she does what I do.
I recently made a pumpkin bread pudding and it was ... amazing. I've tried chocolate, and that's not so hot. I suppose you could put whatever you want in it, but apart from the pumpkin one, I always stick to the basics. The classic bread pudding has white bread, or whole wheat, whatever, milk, eggs, sugar, raisins and cinnamon in it. Perhaps a bit of vanilla. I like to make a simple syrup and add rum to it to serve with the pudding.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
4 slices of good white bread
3 large farm fresh organic eggs
2 C. organic milk
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. organic sugar
1 Tbs. TJ's pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla
3.5 oz organic canned pumpkin
1/2 C Raisins
1 C. hard apple cider
1 C. Sugar
Cube bread into 1 inch cubes. In a oven proof bowl mix milk, buttermilk, sugar, eggs spices, vanilla and pumpkin. Mix in raisins and bread until soaked through. Bake 350 for 12 minutes. Stir up the pudding and bake another 12 minutes. Stir and then bake until done, about 20 minutes.
In a small pot mix the hard cider and sugar together. Heat until it boils and let boil for about a minute. Cool.
To serve pour a little syrup over the bread pudding. Serve warm.