|Bread Pudding-LOUISIANA,United States of America
Bread pudding is an old dish that has been prepared since Medieval times in Europe and the Middle East. However, it is extremely beloved and defining in the cuisine of New Orleans. The dish consists of stale bread that is bathed in a combination of milk, sugar, eggs, nuts, and fruits, and is then baked into a delicious dessert.
It can be consumed either hot as a pudding or cold as a cake. In the past, there was a practice of hollowing out a loaf which then acted as a container for a sweet dish. There are numerous variations of bread pudding, from Egypt and Turkey to India and Malaysia.
The earliest bread and butter puddings in Britain were called white-pot, and were made with butter or marrow. Today, in New Orleans, local bread with a crispy crust and a light interior is combined with a sweet custard, resulting in a light, airy, and decadent dessert.
The cooks are always making new variations of the dish in Louisiana, adding white chocolate, strawberry compotes, Creole cream cheese, and caramel sauce with brown sugar and rum. Comforting and hearty, bread pudding has even been called the gumbo of New Orleans desserts.
Authentic Bread Pudding recipe
20 – 60 min
Although the basic ingredients are quite ordinary — bread, milk, eggs, and sugar — bread pudding is a dish which can range from simple to extravagant, depending on your inspiration. The preparation starts with some stale white bread, cut into cubes or torn into small pieces. The bread should be dry — either use some leftovers from the previous day or lightly toast the bread cubes in the oven. Milk, eggs, and sugar are mixed in a large bowl, often accompanied with butter, heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, dried fruits, and nuts. This custard-like mixture is poured over the bread cubes and left to soak at room temperature, after which the bread pudding mixture is transferred into a baking dish and baked in the oven. When the surface becomes golden brown and the center sets, the pudding is ready. After it has cooled slightly, the bread pudding is most commonly sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and drizzled with sauce. The New Orleans bread pudding is most commonly paired with liquor-based sauces, made with rum or whiskey, although caramel or maple syrup can serve as an excellent non-alcoholic alternative.
The bread pudding recipe has been known for centuries as a simple method to repurpose stale bread. With the addition of milk, sweeteners (honey or sugar), fat (lard or butter), dried fruit and nuts, and some spices, simple leftover bread was turned into a well-rounded dessert. In the Medieval times, soups and stews were often served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread. Middle-Eastern cuisines offer a wide range of recipes based on old bread drizzled with honey syrup and rosewater. As for the USA, bread pudding rose to popularity during the Civil War, when it was the only dessert available to the troops on both sides. Back then, the soldiers would smash their crackers, mix them with sugar, water, and raisins, and cook them in their tin cups over an open flame. One of the oldest bread pudding recipes dates from the 1747 cookbook The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, and suggests boiling the pudding instead of baking it. The recipe as we know it today developed by the mid-19th century, and after the times of the Prohibition it was enhanced with various alcohol-based sauces, like rum or whiskey sauce.