Doughnuts can be found all over the world in some form or another but no one loves them more than Americans. It’s not uncommon for the couple of doughnut shops we have in town to run out of doughnuts by mid-morning. You gotta get there early and be prepared to stand in line if you want to be able to snag a few of your favorites. I love plain sugared doughnuts myself and whoever invented maple bacon doughnuts deserves a medal!
If you’ve ever been to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, you know just how mesmerizing it is to watch those sweet little rings move slowly along on the conveyer from formation, to frying, to glazing. And the first bite of that still warm, light-as-air confection makes you feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.
This bread pudding is a great way to use up leftover donuts. It’s wonderful served plain on its own, but that being said, you’ve got to try it with my coffee cream sauce. Yum! After all, as any self-respecting American cop can tell you, there’s nothing like a doughnut with coffee.
DOUGHNUT BREAD PUDDING
1 doz. plain glazed doughnuts
4 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9 x 13″ baking dish.
Cut each doughnut into 8 pieces.
Arrange the doughnut pieces in the buttered baking dish.
Make custard by whisking together eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt until well blended.
Pour the custard evenly over the doughnut pieces in the baking dish.
Gently press the pieces down into the liquid so they all get soaked with custard.
Let sit for at least 15 minutes to give the doughnuts time to absorb the custard. If you like a softer, more custardy texture, let the doughnuts soak for a longer period of time.
Bake the pudding for 30-35 minutes or until the custard is set. It’s okay if the center jiggles slightly when you shake it.
Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe can easily be halved and baked in a 9×9-inch square baking dish if you’re feeding less people.
You can also make this dish in advance. Just follow the recipe from Step 2 to 7, then cover the casserole and place in refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove casserole from refrigerator and let sit on counter for at least 30 minutes to bring to room temperature before continuing with Step 8.
My Mom used to make bread pudding for us all the time when we were growing up. It was a good way to make use of stale bread or left-over crusts that she had removed from sandwiches for a party. She would coat her pan in caramelized sugar which would turn into a sort of self-basting syrup for the bread pudding so there was no need to make any kind of sauce to serve with it. We loved it!
The raisins are traditional. I always liked them in my bread pudding but I remember my little sister didn’t so she used to pick them out. It’s totally fine to leave them out if you prefer a bread pudding without raisins. The recipe still turns out delicious even without them!
Rum-raisin is a common and well-loved flavor combination, but sometimes, just for a change, I replace the rum with cinnamon. I mean, who doesn’t love a slice of buttered cinnamon-raisin bread? Right? And that’s what it tastes like.
OLD-FASHIONED BREAD PUDDING
4 cups bread cubes (cut with a knife or tear into pieces by hand)
¼ cup raisins
4 cups evaporated milk
6 whole eggs
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. rum, optional (or could substitute 2 tsp. cinnamon)
Toss bread cubes and raisins together in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk all the remaining ingredients together with a wire whisk until well combined.
Pour the milk mixture over the bread cubes and stir together well.
Let soak as long as possible, preferably overnight.
To Cook Bread Pudding:
1 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Place sugar and water into a 2½ – 3 quart metal bowl.
Heat bowl over low heat on stove top until sugar is completely melted and begins to turn caramel-colored, swirling bowl quickly to coat bottom and sides with caramel. Make sure to use oven mitts because the bowl will get hot!
Set bowl aside to let caramel coating cool and harden, about 5 minutes or so. Don’t worry if the caramel cracks as it sits. This is normal.
Pour bread pudding mixture into the bowl that has been coated with caramel.
Cover tightly with tin foil.
Place in large roasting pan and fill roasting pan with enough water to come at least halfway up sides of bowl. This is called a water bath.
Put into oven and bake for about 1 hour. To test for doneness, remove foil cover and jiggle bowl back and forth. You want to see a slight jiggle in the center of the pudding.
When done, remove bowl from water bath and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.
Transfer to refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours. You could also eat the bread pudding warm if you want to.
To serve, run a thin knife around the edge of the pudding to loosen it from the pan.
Invert pudding out onto a serving plate with a lip to catch the sauce.
If you prefer, you can make the caramel sauce by just melting 1 cup of plain sugar without adding any water to it. This goes much faster, but it can burn faster too, so watch your caramel carefully!
You could also cook the caramel in a saucepot or skillet. Once the caramel reaches the color and consistency you want, quickly pour it into whatever container you’re making your bread pudding in, swirling the container to coat the bottom and sides.
Mom also had what she called her TIPID VARIATION (economical variation):