Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread Pudding- Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread Pudding- Recipe
Even though the Pumpkin Swirl Bread from Pepperidge Farm was a lot thinner than I expected, I decided to go ahead and try to make bread pudding with it any way. Thankfully, it still turned out pretty good!

Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread Pudding
Serves 6-7 people
  • 1 cup of whole milk*
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 20 slices of stale Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread**
  • 3/4 a stick of salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla 
  • 3/4 cup of pure pumpkin puree (Not pie filling) 
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • One 8 x 8 x 2-inch square pan, or several ramekins.
    (I used one large ramekin, which serves 3-4 people, and 3 individual ones.)  
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of golden raisins
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Slice the stale bread into cubes, but I ended up with little rectangles. The shape doesn't really matter, as long as your pieces are consistently sized and substantial enough to absorb the custard.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, 3 eggs, melted butter, sugars, and vanilla.
  4. Once combined, mix in the pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree. At this point you can add the golden raisins and other mix-ins you desire. (Like nuts or cinnamon chips.)
  5. Gently fold your bread cubes/rectangles into the liquid mixture, making sure each piece is even coated and let it sit for 3-7 minutes to fully absorb the liquid. Turn and mix as needed to ensure all bread pieces absorb an even amount. A little bit of left over liquid, like a tablespoon or two, is fine, but if you have a lot of extra liquid you can add another slice or two of bread if needed. 
  6. Pour your saturated cubes into your baking dish or ramekins, and sprinkle the tops with a little bit of brown sugar. These do not rise much, so over packing the container (within reason) shouldn't cause a problem. My ramekins ended up being a bit domed but they flatted out a bit after baking.
  7. Place them in the oven and cook them at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean. You don't want to overcook the mixture, or else your finished pudding will be dry. 
  8. Once a toothpick comes out clean, you can remove this from the oven and you're done! Serve warm with a drizzle of homemade pumpkin spice syrup, eat it as-is, or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
*You can substitute this for Half & Half if you want something richer. Or Almond/Rice Milk if you want something lighter.
** I spread the slices out on the grate of my oven over night to get the bread stale enough. You can also substitute this for any other bread in the super market, or even homemade bread.

The finished bread pudding was dense, sweet, and very satisfying. The pumpkin gives this an earthy flavoring that's perfect for fall, mix that with the juicy raisins that absorbed all of that delicious liquid and the pumpkin pie spices, and you've got yourself a dessert they'll make you want to put on a cozy sweater and take a nap.

Obviously, this isn't health food, but it's very comforting and it'll be fine in moderation. (Plus you can always substitute things for healthier options. Like adding apple sauce instead of white sugar, or using egg and butter substitutes.) This is best eaten warm and fresh the night you bake it, but you can revive it a bit in the microwave over the next two days. After three or more days (if it survives that long) it starts to get a little dry on it's own, but a scoop of ice cream or a bit of homemade pumpkin spiced syrup helps to liven things up.

On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 3.5 as-is. If you want this to be more pumpkin-y you can add more pumpkin puree, more pumpkin pie spices, or even little bits of candied or sweetened pumpkin to the bread mixture before baking. Maybe even top it with pumpkin pie ice cream! The sky's the limit! 
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