Isn’t it wonderful that today begins the season of us Southern gals being “allowed” to wear white jeans, capri’s and sandals. Because we all know that in the South, if you wear white before Easter, the fashion police can stop you at any time, anywhere and threaten to post your picture on the front of Southern Living with us wearing white! So, now, it is legal to step out the door in white. And to celebrate this great time, I wanted to have a very Southern dessert tonight. Who better to go to than Paula Deen, the true Southern belle herself.
Just pulled out this bread pudding out of the oven and all I can say is “WOW, DOUBLE WOW” Yesterday a friend of mine, Cecilia posted on FB that she had made it and it got me in the mood for bread pudding. Looking up the recipe, I realized that I had everything on hand to make it and wala……..we have been standing at the stove, just eating it by the spoon full while it is still hot. It really is the best bread pudding I think I have ever had. And we don’t even have the sauce made yet to drizzle over it. Also, because I don’t have brandy I am going to use the butter sauce I use to drizzle over the Kentucky Butter Cake. Because I had a loaf of chocolate almond brioche bread in the freezer I had picked up one day at Walmart, I used it in place of the Italian bread she uses. If you are out and shopping for bread for a bread pudding or even just to slice and toast, Walmart has the best brioches breads for about $4 a loaf. We have had the Vanilla, the Chocolate Almond (that is what I used this time for the BP), Chocolate Marble and sometimes during the fall they have Pumpkin Spice brioche. They simply are divine.
Since your mouth is probably watering already just thinking and seeing this beautiful dessert, let me post the recipe without further ado. One more thing, Paula, you never disappoint us with your amazing desserts. Next summer if we get to come to Savannah, I hope to get to see you in Lady & Son’s and, forgetting social distancing, give you a hug for all the wonderful recipes you have shared throughout the years! Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 teas vanilla
3 cups cubed Italian bread (remember about the brioche that is great to use also)
Cube bread and allow to stale overnight in a bowl.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
Place dry cubed bread in a butter greased 9×13 baking dish. Pour milk mixture over the cubes and mash the cubes down with a spatula to be sure the bread cubes are all covered with the egg-milk mixture.
In a smaller mixing bowl, place 1/4 cup of softened butter and mix together with 1 cup of light brown sugar. Sprinkle this over the top of the bread mixture.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until set. Remove from oven.
If you have any left after standing over it and eating it when it comes out of the oven, you can make a sauce of either Paulas, which is:
Mix together 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 egg and 2 teas vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is dissolved and sugar is melted. Stir in 1/4 cup brandy, until well combined. Serve the bread pudding warm or cold drizzling this sauce over the top.
In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 3 tables water. Cook over medium heat stirring until sugar has dissolved. When sugar is well dissolved, remove from heat and add 1 teas vanilla. This will keep covered and then warm it before pouring over bread pudding to serve.
So before we get those white pants out and our legs with hail damage shows through, do yourself a favor and make this. You won’t be sorry!