Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hawaiian Bread Pudding

The other day in the grocery store, while passing the "reduced items" rack, my eye fell upon a lonely round loaf of King's Hawaiian Bread.  If you've never had this bread, well, then, you have not lived. This is a sweet, rich bread that I seem to remember gaining popularity in these parts in the early 80's and it has been a supermarket staple ever since.

I instantly thought bread pudding. My basic formula for bread pudding is this:

8 c. some sort of bread, preferably stale, cut or torn into chunks (precise, huh?)
3 c. some sort of dairy (half n half, milk, cream, etc. or some combination thereof.  The only restriction I have is please not all nonfat)
4-6 eggs (as we are starting here already with a sweetened, enriched bread...that means eggs and sugar...I only used four eggs)
2 t cinnamon (or thereabouts)
3/4 c. chopped dried fruit (I used mango.  Dried pineapple would be nice here, too, but sometimes the commercial variety is too sweet for me)
pinch of salt
up to 3T. sugar (brown sugar, white sugar, whatever pleases you)
1-2T. butter, cut in pieces

First, mix up the custard.  Whisk together the dairy, eggs, cinnamon, sugar and salt.  Then, toss in the bread.  Don't be shy.  You need a vigorous hand here.  That bread needs to be drenched, soaked, completely saturated, drowned in the custard.  You can stir it up a couple of times with a few minutes in between (hint: this is when you will be prepping the baking dish and chopping the fruit).

You need a 350 degree preheated oven.  Grease a deep round baker in the 10" range.  Mine was otherwise occupied, so I used a 3 qt baking dish.  This is the exact size of a Pyrex 9 x 13 pan in case you don't have something fancier.  If you use this size pan, the pudding will be firmer and shallower than a traditional bread pudding.  You can butter the pan if you want.  I use Pam, or what we call in the biz by its more romantic name, Food Release Spray.  If using a 9 x 13 though you should watch it closely and pull it out as soon as it's done.  Thou shalt not overbake.

Stir the mangoes into the soaked bread mixture and pour into the prepared pan.  Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar.  If it helps you sleep at night, by all means sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg on top as well.  If you have demerera sugar, so much the better.

The bread is already so rich and flavorful that we are basically just returning it from the reduced items shelf to its former glory.  BTW, please don't make bread pudding with fresh bread.  It's just bad form.

Bake it until, well, it's done.  It will be nicely browned on top and springy to the touch in the middle.  This will take at least 30 minutes but probably less than 45.  I am Captain Accurate.  If you intend to serve it from the oven, let it cool for about 10-15 minutes first.

You could add some mashed banana to the batter to keep it moist. You could make a rum sauce.  You could add coconut milk or shaved or toasted coconut.  I, however, am lazy, and did none of these things.

Mine might have been slightly overbaked this round.  My family just walked by and cut off hunks of it like it was a snack cake and ate it that way.  Also, reheated bread pudding is the stuff of the gods for breakfast.

That is all.

1 comment:

  1. YUMMY! I've never made bread pudding before. Might have to get me a loaf at Fred Meyer tomorrow.

    Our King's treat is to make French Toast - with a nice custardy almost crisp crust.