Welcome to the kitchen of nostalgia and comfort, where we’re about to embark on a culinary journey back in time. Today, I’m going to share with you a recipe that has been passed down through generations in my family – Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. This classic dessert is a warm, sweet embrace in every bite, reminiscent of simpler times. It’s perfect for anyone who appreciates the timeless beauty of traditional recipes that stand the test of time.
Who is this Recipe For?
This recipe is for those who cherish the taste of homemade goodness and want to recreate a slice of the past. It’s for the food lover who craves that cozy, comforting feeling of a warm dessert. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a newbie in the kitchen, this recipe is simple enough for everyone to enjoy. Plus, if you want to impress your guests with a classic dessert that never goes out of style, this is the perfect choice.
Before we delve into the step-by-step guide on making this delightful dessert, let’s take a look at what you’ll need. The ingredients are divided into two sections: one for the pudding and another for the irresistible vanilla sauce.
- 4 cups (8 slices) cubed white bread
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Before you begin, gather your kitchen equipment. You’ll need the following:
- 1-quart saucepan
- 1 1/2-quart casserole dish
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Individual dessert dishes for serving
- Refrigerator for storing leftovers
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of making Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce.
Making the Pudding
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a large bowl, combine the cubed white bread and raisins. Set this bowl aside.
- In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the milk and 1/4 cup of butter. Cook over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. This should take around 4 to 7 minutes.
- Once the butter has melted, pour this warm milk mixture over the bread and raisins. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes, giving the bread time to soak up the creamy goodness.
- After the 10 minutes have passed, stir in all the remaining pudding ingredients: sugar, eggs, vanilla, and ground nutmeg. Mix until well combined.
- Grease a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish and pour the bread pudding mixture into it.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until the pudding is set in the center. You’ll know it’s done when it’s golden brown and firm to the touch.
Preparing the Vanilla Sauce
- While the pudding is baking, let’s make the delicious vanilla sauce. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients except the vanilla.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You’ll want to continue cooking until the sauce thickens and comes to a full boil. This typically takes 5 to 8 minutes.
- Once the sauce is ready, stir in the vanilla and remove it from the heat.
Serving and Storing
To serve, spoon the warm bread pudding into individual dessert dishes and generously drizzle the luscious vanilla sauce on top. The combination of warm, soft bread pudding and rich, sweet sauce is pure magic.
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator. Simply cover your casserole dish with plastic wrap or transfer individual portions to airtight containers. When you’re ready to enjoy the leftovers, a quick zap in the microwave will bring back that fresh-from-the-oven goodness.
Recipe Swaps and Variations
If you want to put your own spin on this classic recipe, there are plenty of variations to explore. You can try using different types of bread, such as brioche or cinnamon raisin bread, for a unique flavor. You can also experiment with alternative toppings like caramel, chocolate chips, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
Food and Drink Pairings
This dessert is a delightful treat on its own, but if you want to enhance the experience, consider pairing it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a hot cup of coffee. The contrast of the warm pudding and the cold, creamy ice cream is a match made in dessert heaven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use whole wheat bread instead of white bread?
While white bread is traditional for this recipe, you can absolutely use whole wheat bread if you prefer a slightly heartier flavor. The texture may be a bit denser, but it can still be incredibly delicious.
What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?
To reheat individual portions, place them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, depending on your microwave’s power. You can also reheat larger portions in the oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes.
Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Simply reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.