Since no work was permitted on the Sabbath, they prepared Saturday’s meal in advance, assembling a stew, a cholent, with potatoes, barley, and sometimes a piece of meat. A sweet and savory pudding made from leftover bread simmered within the stew. Her mother removed the pot from the coal stove and covered it with brown paper, then tied it around several times with string. Sala wrote their name on the paper and carefully carried the large pot around the corner to Shimon the baker, who inserted it on a long paddle into the recesses of his giant oven. together with dozens of other pots from neighbors, each tied and identified, ready to be served hot for the next afternoon’s meal.
-Sala’s Gift by Ann Kirschner
Bread pudding is both good and weird at the same time. It tastes sweet and filling, yet I sit there thinking that it’s a weird texture for bread – but yet again, it’s not exactly bread anymore; then I think that it’s a weird texture for pudding, but it’s not exactly pudding either. It’s almost like it is in this in between state of bread and pudding: not quite one or the other. A twilight zone of sorts.
This bread pudding turned out well, though. And oh my, it smelled wonderful while it was baking. I could have hyperventilated at the rate I was trying to intake that sweet and vanilla smell.
Based upon a bread pudding recipe from Everyday Dish
- 5 cups bread cubes I used about 2/3 of a loaf of Matthew’s Whole Wheat Bread
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together soymilk, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. Add the bread cubes and let sit about ten minutes, or until bread is soft and has absorbed most of the milk. Add the raisins and a few sprinkles of cinnamon and gently mix together. Don’t over mix it. Scoop mixture into prepared pan. Lightly sprinkle top with a little more cinnamon.
Bake pudding in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until puffed and golden and milk has been absorbed.
I didn’t measure out the vanilla on this one and I have to say that that was probably a good thing. I may have put in twice as much as it called for and it had the most wonderful vanilla/creamy flavor. Mmmm…
Another thing I did was sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar before I put it in the oven. What resulted was a sweet and slightly crunchy covering, and it was a great contrast to the mushy “pudding” part.
One thing that I totally could have left out, which surprised me, were the raisins. I enjoy raisins in bread, but in bread pudding? Not necessary at all. This bread pudding stands on it’s own without raisins.
I am not likely to make this again any time soon, but it’s a quick dish. It is perfect for breakfast, dessert, or as a sweet snack. For anyone who is lazy (like me), this is a great one to throw together.