Pumpkin Raisin-Bread Pudding

I love bread. It’s probably my favorite food. When we order pizza, I take off the greasy cheese and just eat the crust. My favorite restaurants are the ones that bring you a basket of bread. Low-carb diets? I couldn’t make it more than a couple days. I have a pretty major sweet tooth, but if I was ever forced to choose between bread or sugar, well, this blog would have a whole lot less desserts on it. (But let’s really hope that “Sophie’s Choice” never comes to fruition, okay?) What I find really strange is that despite my love of bread, I have never had bread pudding before. I don’t know how that happened, but I have been meaning to rectify it for a while.

I had a loaf of raisin bread sitting around and getting stale so I finally decided this was the day! And when I found a recipe for bread pudding that also had pumpkin (which regular readers know I am obsessed with right now) it was a no-brainer. That was the recipe I had to make.

Well–no surprise–that was a good choice because the recipe turned out as good as I had hoped. Since I’ve never had bread pudding before, I can’t say it’s the best bread pudding ever, but I can tell you that I liked it very much. It’s soft and warm and comforting. And such a pretty color! The flavors from the cinnamon-raisin bread, pumpkin and other spices go great together. And I liked that it was not overly sweet because I was kind of expecting something called a “pudding” to be too sweet. This would make just as good a breakfast as it would a dessert.

I think my only adjustment would be to add a bit more bread next time. Since I’ve never had bread pudding before, I can’t tell if the ratio of bread to liquid is off, but I thought some of it was a bit too eggy. That’s just a personal preference, but it is called bread pudding, so it doesn’t seem like you could go wrong adding more bread.

The recipe is really simple to make. Just mix all the ingredients together in one bowl and then bake. The only finicky thing is having to bake it in a water bath, but that’s not complicated. In the end, I wound up halving the recipe to make things even simpler and faster. The original made a A LOT, a whole 13×9 dish full, which meant needing a giant bowl to mix it up in and a pan bigger than 13×9 for the water bath. A 9 inch pan of this is still more than enough to feed a family, but if you have a lot of people to feed, you can easily double the recipe.

Pumpkin Raisin-Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Raisin-Bread Pudding

adapted from Good Housekeeping

Dessert | Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 1 hour 20 min

Ingredients

  • 8 – 12 oz. (about half a loaf or 7-10 slices) cinnamon-raisin bread*
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups water
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

*Note: Obviously, you can buy a loaf of raisin bread at the store, but I would encourage you to make your own. It tastes so much better and is one of the easiest kinds of bread to make!

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Slice your loaf of bread (if it isn’t already) and then cut each slice into quarters.
  2. In a large bowl, combine milk, sugar, pumpkin, flour, spices, vanilla and eggs. Beat well with a whisk or a hand mixer.
  3. Add bread, pressing down with a spoon or spatula to make sure all pieces are well coated in the milk mixture. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  4. While the bread is soaking, add about 4-6 cups of water in a teapot or large sauce pan (it’s best if it has a lip on it for easier pouring) and bring it to boil.
  5. Pour bread mixture into a 9×9 or 11×7 in. glass baking dish. Set the baking dish inside a larger pan (like a roasting pan, something at least 2 inches deep) and transfer to oven. Pour the boiling water into the larger pan (be careful not to get any in the baking dish!) until it’s about halfway up the side of the baking dish.
  6. Bake 45-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center of pudding comes out clean. Carefully remove the baking dish from the roasting pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with powdered sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Store in the refrigerator. You can heat it back up in the oven for about 15-25 minutes at 350 degrees.