Old Fashioned New England Bread Pudding And Where It Originated In Connecticut?

Florence Carmela

A woman enjoying dessertPhoto byToa HeftibaonUnsplash

Can the Nutmeg State claim another dessert? Who can't pass up a piece of old-fashioned New England Bread Pudding? How about a bread pudding with your favorite bread, sprinkled nutmeg, cinnamon and a thick vanilla sauce on top? If you grew up in Connecticut state, or any part of New England, this childhood dessert tastes like a warm, comforting hug. If you grew up eating homemade bread pudding than you know with the variety of flavors and toppings it's hard to say which is your favorite.

This classic English recipe is a marriage of aromatic spices and the sweetness of a creamy vanilla sauce. You can modify your bread pudding by adding different types of breads, fillings, toppings, and sauces to make your bread pudding even more of a decadent treat.

Bread Pudding with vanilla saucePhoto byAmanda LimonUnsplash

The history of Bread Pudding is quite interesting. It originated in England as far back as the 11th century in Europe. According to Slurrp "The origin of Bread Pudding is that it's a traditional dish with humble origins. It arose out of need, as a way of utilising leftover, stale bread during a time when food was limited. If the last heel of bread in the house was too hard to eat, you could always soften it with a little warm liquid and sugar." Also known as ''Indian pudding'' at the time, it began appearing in American cookbooks around the late 1700’s. ''Early methods called for the dish to be cooked in a “slow” oven, meaning at a low temperature, for a long period of time. The pudding dish was placed in a large, shallow pan, into which a shallow amount of water was added. The water insulated the dish so it would cook very gently during its long cook time,'' according to the New England website where this recipe (below) was featured.

1 medium-sized loaf white bread (approximately 4 cups when cut into 1-inch cubes)
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (OPTIONAL)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 1.5 quart bread pan. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Toss bread and raisins in large bowl. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan just until butter has fully melted. Pour milk mixture over bread and let sit for 10 minutes, until the bread absorbs most of the liquid. Combine the salt, sugar, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour into the bread mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the greased pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set.

Vanilla Sauce for Bread Pudding:
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the vanilla sauce for bread pudding, combine all ingredients except vanilla in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Continue to boil the sauce, watching carefully and stirring for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Serve sauce on top of warm bread pudding.

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