Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bread Failure=Delicious Pudding

Mini loaves

I was browsing food blogs last week when I came across this post from Ping's Pickings with a recipe for a really soft Asian-bakery style bread. I was also intrigued because it's made with what is basically a pastry cream base, and her photos reminded me of the loaves of super rich, super soft bread I get at Boloniya (a Japanese bakery). Well, I think I may be in need of some new yeast, because my bread came out surprisingly dense!

Custard Bread

I made a couple of mini loaves, and although the texture is nice and fine grained, it is almost like dense sandwich bread, instead of the soft bread that I was hoping for (the kind I buy just pulls apart into long bread "ribbons", if that makes any sense). I'm going to have to give it another try with some new yeast, and maybe a longer rising time because it would be awesome to be able to make this type of bread at home.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

But of course, I'm not just going to let bread go to waste, right? And hey, this bread was just perfect for bread pudding! And since I had half a can of pumpkin left in the fridge (from the muffins I made last time), it made sense to go with an autumn-themed pumpkin bread pudding. This baked up nicely, almost caramelized along the bottom, crunchy on top, and custardy in the center, with little pockets of hot sugary ginger throughout. Have some bread to use up? Try this.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
approximately 4 cups of bread cubes (3/4")

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. Fold in raisins, ginger, and bread cubes, and let stand for 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Pack into buttered baking dish(es) (either an 8" square, or custard cups, or individual bakers, or whatever you feel like) and bake until an inserted knife comes out clean. I baked mine in two individual bakers and a mini loaf pan and it took about 30 minutes. Eat warm or hot. It would be great with a little maple syrup...or there's always ice cream!


Megg said...

Yes, "bread ribbons" makes sense... made me super hungry for bread when I read that too! Too bad about the bread, but great job making lemonade (err.. pudding) out of the situation! Looks fantastic!

babykins said...

I think Japanese ppl mostly prefer soft fluffy breads but I like dense ones too.
Bread pudding is an awesome idea! I think dense bread is better for it. The recipe sounds great!! I'm craving some....

Quay Po Cooks said...

What a clever way of using up the bread:D

ping said...

aww...I'm sorry it didn't turn out right for you. From your pics, it looks as tho it didn't rise very well. maybe you're right abt the yeast. Do try again, I promise it's a good recipe. Clever of you to improvise.

tofugirl said...

Megg, I definitely need to give this recipe another try, but yeah, pumpkin bread pudding is not really a hardship is it :)

Izumi, yeah, the denser bread is great for bread pudding! I like all kinds of bread, but I really want to learn to make soft, fluffy Japanese style bread so I don't have to buy it (expensive!)

Quay Po, thanks :D Every cloud has its lining, right? Plus I also used up my leftover pumpkin, woohoo!

Ping, I will definitely try the recipe again! I do suspect the yeast a bit, but also think that i didn't let it rise long enough and now that it's colder here, maybe it just takes longer for the yeast to start growing. Hopefully next time it will be as gorgeous as yours :)

bentobird said...

Oh. My. This bread pudding is full of win...and crystallized ginger! Your gift for lovely and lucid baking recipes makes even official non-baker me want to make them!

tofugirl said...

Jenn, you should give it a try :) The crystallized ginger makes all the difference....I just picked up a pound so I could try making my own crystallized ginger--we'll see how that goes! :D