When I was a kid, and we had stale bread (rare to have any bread with all those mouths…), Mom would whip up a batch of chocolate bread pudding. In fact, it wasn’t until after Peg and I married that I found out about bread pudding that didn’t have chocolate! Protected life, I guess. (And I strongly suspect Dad arbitrarily declared bread as “stale” whenever he wanted some pudding…).
For some reason I never got the recipe for that. My sisters are going to come back with “well I have it”, but I’ve come up with a recipe that I think comes close. It leans very heavily on a recipe I found online:
This was excellent, but I increased the chocolate by 25%, the bread by about 30%, and subtly added butter by heavily buttering the baking dish. The original recipe also called for white bread with crusts removed (far too posh), while I opted for a 50 cent day-old loaf of Italian bread, crusts and all. Far more character, especially with that cornmeal from the baking peel.
Here is my version:
Preheat oven to 350F.
- 2.5 ounces semi sweet chocolate (Baker’s this time)
- 1/2 C half and half
- 2/3 C sugar
- 1/2 C milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 t vanilla extract (simply Organic is just lovely)
- 1/4 t salt
- 4 C bread cubes
- 1 T salted butter
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, egg, salt, and vanilla extract.
When the chocolate is well melted, stir in the half and half, then combine the chocolate mixture with the milk mixture. Stir in the bread cubes, and let them rest to fully absorb the liquid.
Heavily butter a one quart baking dish (stoneware or glass), leaving the excess in the bottom of the dish. (Subtle, right?)
Bake for 30-40 minutes. A knife in the center should come out nearly clean.
Let it rest for as long as you can stand. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or creme Anglaise. Or all of them.