Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Adventures in Procrastination

What I'm supposed to be doing: Our taxes.

What I'm doing instead: Eating almost-too-hot-to-consume bread pudding straight from the oven. It's burning my mouth, but I can't stop eating it. It's delicious.

My first venture into sourdough baking was a double batch of bread. We're a family of four, with two of us being under six and one of us still trying to lose the three pounds she gained over the holidays. As you can imagine, that was too much bread. So tonight during bath time, half a hard leftover loaf was made into bread pudding.

I never ate bread pudding growing up -- it wasn't part of my mom's repertoire, and it seemed one of those adult-type creations that was not only weird but tremendously unappetizing. Akin to your stewed prunes. But in the last few years I've grown a real appreciation for not only the efficiency and flexibility of bread pudding, but the taste.

Proportions between recipes differ, but it basically goes something like this:

Bread Pudding

6 beaten eggs
3 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. or so cinnamon, and other spices if you like them
2 tsp. or so vanilla
4 cups 3/4-inch cubes of day-old bread
1 cup or so of raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, or anything else you like -- if you're so inclined (I'm a purist who isn't so inclined)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a big bowl. Stir in the bread cubes and make sure all the cubes get coated in the egg mixture. Stir in the raisins, if you're using them. Pour this into a 9X9 pan, or a deep dish pie pan, or whatever else will hold it comfortably. Bake the pudding for about an hour -- until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean and the whole thing has puffed into a glorious mini-dome. Go cut yourself a slab before it's even had time to cool, and put off doing your taxes for another night.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Eleanore said...

I will be trying the bread pudding soon, as I love it. However, you know someone in this house has an ALLERGY??? to raisins or cranberries, so thinking raisins HAD to be part of it I didn't go there.

3:30 AM  
Blogger amyzeats said...

now that you have me thinking about bread and now that my secret mini-holiday celebrating self just realized St. Pat's is a wee two days in our future, check out this article in the NYTimes yesterday from Melissa Clark on Irish soda bread and the accompanying recipe...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/dining/14appe.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/dining/141arex.html

and as long as we're talkin' recipes, here's my Great Grandma Casey's -- from what I'm told, a hell of a women from County Longford, Eire -- although according to Clark's article, this recipe has two very American ingredients in it: caraway seeds and currants or raisins. hmmm...

4 cups sifted flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup raisins or currants
1 Tbs caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add buttermilk, raisins, and seeds and mix thoroughly. Divide into 2 rounds and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Make an "X" on top of each loaf with a knife. Put 'em in the over and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until they turn light brown.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Cindy K said...

Mom, if you don't get time to try this before you come visit, I'll make one the next time you're in town. Without raisins. :)

Amy, I'm am SO going to try your grandma's Irish soda bread recipe. Even if it didn't come over on a boat from the old country, it sounds fantastic. Maybe I'll add some green food coloring to make it really St. Pat's festive. I also want to try making brown bread soon; I can still taste that nutty, full goodness from this little B&B in Galway, and I've never tried making it, fearing it wouldn't taste the same.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I haven't done my taxes either. You know we can get a discount on TurboTax through our 401 K provider.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Cindy K said...

Shoot. I had no idea about the TurboTax discount. I got mine at Costco two months ago, and just barely broke open the box. I hate tax time.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Laura Kitchel said...

Well, I haven't tried sourdough bread, or it's step-child, bread pudding, but my taxes are done and the refund just hit my account last week. So in the words of Carl Spackler from Caddyshack, "So I've got that going for me. . . which is nice."

12:30 PM  

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