After going up to my parents' chalet for Easter, we discovered on our return that there was a forgotten loaf of bread in the bread box which had gone very stale. I had been planning on making either French toast or bread pudding with it, and then I got a request for a sweet bread pudding recipe after my Eiderdown of a week or so ago. So it was decided, sweet bread pudding it was. There are many different ways of making this, and I don't think I make it quite the same way any two times I make it. I've made it with all sorts of different breads, including croissants, tresse and panettone which have gone stale. Sometimes I butter the slices, sometimes not. Often I add a layer of jam. Sometimes I sweeten the egg and milk mix, but not always. Occasionally I spice it, sometimes it has fruit or dried fruit. It all depends on my pantry and on my whims at the time of making it. The key is to give the bread enough liquid to soak up and enough time to absorb it in. And then have fun with it! Here's the one I made this time.
1 tbsp butter
1 loaf stale bread, sliced (mine was so stale that it shattered rather than slicing)
2-3 cups of milk or whey (I used a mix of each. Exactly how much liquid you need will depend on exactly how dry your bread is and exactly how much there is of it. Play it by ear.)
3 eggs, beaten
2-3 tbsp jam (in this case I used the last of a jar of mango syrup)
Dried fruit - I added raisins (1/4c approx), a handful of chopped apricots and some dried ginger
1 banana, sliced
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
1 c yogurt or sour cream
Maple syrup to serve
1) Butter a shallow baking dish. Lay a first layer of bread slices. Spread the jam evenly over the layer (or drizzle the syrup as the case may be). Scatter some of the dried fruit over this first layer and tuck between pieces of bread. Layer the rest of the bread on top, and tuck the rest of the dried fruit between the pieces.
2) Beat together the eggs and about 2 cups of the milk or the whey. Pour evenly over the bread. Leave to soak over night.
3) Place the sliced banana over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake uncovered at 180°C for about 45 minutes, until firm but moist with a golden crust on top.
4) Serve hot with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.
I am so grateful to have gotten a request for this as it is a while since I've made it. It made a very tasty breakfast, and cold later in the day was not bad for picking at! Don't be fooled by the way the bananas look when they come out of the oven either. They are pure caramel goodness! Enjoy it, and don't forget to have fun with it and play around with flavours a little!