This Bread and Butter Pudding recipe from Holland America Cruise Lines is spectacular. What's even better? This is the easiest recipe I've ever found for making bread pudding!
The key to this dessert is to follow the directions exactly. A dry bread and butter pudding is not enjoyable, and this method will give you a moist, delicious, and decadent dessert. Think of it as Bread and Butter Pudding with custard.
Rudi Sodamin is the executive chef at Holland America as well as their Culinary Council Chairman. Chef Sodamin was born in Austria and trained in France.
Born to a family with 11 children, Chef Sodamin says that eating with his large family is where he grew to love food, and decided to become a chef. He's served Presidents in the White House and oversees everything to do with food and drink on Holland America Cruises.
This Bread and Butter Pudding recipe is from A Taste of Excellence, one of the Holland America Line cookbooks, available onboard their cruises or online.
When I was on board for the 20 day Southeast Asia cruise, I spent one afternoon of the days at sea in the library browsing all their cookbooks, and this is a recipe I've wanted to make for a while.
Not surprisingly, I went to almost every cooking class offered, both on and off the ship.
The Thai cooking class was exceptional, and I've already made Vietnamese summer rolls from a class I took in Vietnam. In addition, I've made lifelong friends from that one cruise, including Chef Diêp, above.
Coming home with recipes I can try to recreate is one of the things I enjoy most about travel. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.
What You Need to Make Bread and Butter Pudding
As I mentioned, this is such an easy recipe, with only 9 ingredients. In fact, the day I decided to make it, I hadn't prepared like I normally do.
I had a loaf of bread from the bakery that was a few days old, decided to make something with it, and couldn't bring myself to make French toast again! I'm glad I realized I had everything to make this bread pudding.
My family is always asking me to make dessert, so I thought it would be fun to surprise them.
For Chef Sodamin's exact recipe, you'll need good day-old bread, unsalted butter, whole milk, eggs, sugar, pure vanilla extract, raisins, powdered sugar, and optional Grand Marnier for plumping the raisins.
This recipe makes eight twelve-ounce servings. As you can see from my photos, I used smaller 4-ounce ramekins which makes this the perfect amount to serve at a party as it gives you 24 servings. You can also use a 9 x 13 baking dish.
How to Make Bread and Butter Pudding
Preheat your oven to 325º. If you're planning to plump the raisins, now is a good time to get them soaking in the Grand Marnier.
Other suggestions are found at the end of this recipe if you don't want to use Grand Marnier. Use just enough liquid to cover the raisins and let them soak for about 30 minutes.
Place bread cubes in a bowl and drizzle with melted butter.
Grease ramekins with butter. You will need a large roasting pan to hold the ramekins.
Line the roasting pan with a dishtowel. This will keep the ramekins from slipping when you're moving the pan in and out of the oven. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and toast until just golden, 8- 10 minutes.
Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. In a large bowl, whisk whole eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Gradually add in hot milk, continuing to whisk. Stir in vanilla.
Add half the breadcrumbs to the ramekins. Top with half the raisins. Repeat the layers again.
Ladle the egg mixture over the bread cubes and raisins. Let the bread stand for 20 minutes to absorb the custard.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. I fell in love with this electric kettle when I was visiting the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC for the first time. Most hotels in Canada have these kettles and they are so much better than the stovetop style we've always used.
Place the ramekins on the towel in the roasting pan. Add enough boiling water to cover just halfway up the ramekins.
Bake the puddings in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes. They are ready when set.
Carefully remove the roasting dish from the oven. Remove dishes. Let cool slightly.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Do I Have to Include the Alcohol?
The alcohol is totally optional but gives the bread and butter pudding such great flavor, and the quantity is very small.
Chef Sodamin suggests cognac or rum for soaking the raisins, but this can be done with any kind of juice such as orange or pineapple, or even warm water.
For those of you who don't like them, simply make this bread and butter pudding without raisins. Another suggestion from the chef is to add dried cherries and chocolate chips. Get creative and let me know what you come up with!
How Do I Make this Bread Pudding in a Baking Dish?
You will need to place the baking dish in a large roasting pan just as we did with the ramekins. This is how the creamy consistency of the custard is made. The quantities are perfect for a 9 by 13 baking dish.
How Long Does Bread and Butter Pudding Keep?
As long as it's refrigerated, this bread pudding will keep for 3-4 days. In the freezer, it will be good for 1-2 months. Thaw completely and warm in the oven before eating.
And in case you were wondering, there isn't much difference between bread pudding and bread vs. butter pudding. Some say the difference is raisins or other fruit, others say it's the addition of butter. I guess you have to decide for yourself, but this recipe tastes similar to other bread puddings I've eaten, sans the Grand Marnier.
- 1 ½ pounds good day-old bread, crusts trimmed and bread cubed.
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1-quart whole milk
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup raisins
- Powdered sugar
- Grand Marnier (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 325º.
- If you're planning to plump the raisins, now is a good time to get them soaking in the Grand Marnier. Use just enough to cover the raisins and let soak for about 30 minutes.
- Place bread cubes in a bowl and drizzle with melted butter.
- Grease ramekins with butter. You will need a large roasting pan to hold the ramekins.
- Line the roasting pan with a dishtowel. This will keep the ramekins from slipping when you're moving the pan in and out of the oven. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and toast until just golden, 8- 10 minutes.
- Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. In a large bowl, whisk whole eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Gradually add in hot milk, continuing to whisk. Stir in vanilla.
- Add half the breadcrumbs to the ramekins. Top with half the raisins. Repeat the layers again.
- Ladle the egg mixture over the bread cubes and raisins. Let the bread stand for 20 minutes to absorb the custard.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
- Place the ramekins on the towel in the roasting pan. Add enough boiling water to cover just halfway up the ramekins.
- Bake the puddings in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes. They are ready when set.
- Carefully remove the roasting dish from the oven. Remove dishes. Let cool slightly.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 4 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 5g