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“Life is full of good bread.”

— J. M. Suas

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Mike's (more or less) Weekly Baking Tips Logo2020-05-28 Secrets of Bread Pudding and Class Comments - Mike's (more or less) Weekly Baking Tips

Hi Bread Heads!

I thought I'd better send another note out before people start asking if I'm dead. I'm not dead, not even wounded or ailing! Time gets a bit strange when you're livin' on Corona Time! (I looked for a "Livin' on Corona Time" song to share. There were none I'd want to inflict on you.)

Class News - First things first - we had our first virtual Pizza Landslide class and it was a great success. We learned a lot. Among other things we learned we need 10 days notice to make it happen to be sure everyone gets our care package of class notes, ingredients, and surprises before class. We also learned (or re-learned) that our Internet connection is kinda lame. A new one is on order, but we were able to work around it.

On the plus side, for us at least, we didn't have to do as much house cleaning as we usually do for a class. On the down side, it really isn't the same as being there and the other prep work is a real bear!

Our pizza class was well suited to being online. A little over 2 hours and were were done. With our longer classes, we'll have to rethink the class format. Overall, we're happy - and so were our guinea pig students!

Bread Pudding! In the last note I mentioned turning leftover pizza into an unusual bread pudding. And that generated a bit of interest in the idea of what can we do with bread, and where can we take bread pudding? (OK, one person asked.) Of course, there is Laura Robertson's Cheesy Bread Pudding. Now that we've broken the ice, there is much, much more one can do with bread pudding. If you, like me, have an overabundance of bread, here's an outlet for it. And once you're tired of it, you can make this stuff for the neighbors too!

Remember, as Chef Joe Cahn said, if you liked the bread, you'll love it as a bread pudding!

We used to make bread pudding in a few of our classes while we waited for dough to rise. We redid the classes so we don't wait for dough to rise, which orphaned the bread pudding sheet. A pity since Beth put a lot of work into it.

Basic Recipe
Heat your oven to 325F/160C.  Prepare mixtures 1 and 2, below.

Mixture 1
In a large bowl combine:
2 cups of ingredient from Column A
½ cup of sugar (brown or white) or 1 c. honey
½ cup from column B

Mixture 2
In another large bowl combine:
2 cups from Column D
One item from Column C
4 eggs or equivalent of egg substitute
1/4 tsp each of ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground allspice (adjust to your taste)
Or other spices, like dry mustard, rosemary (adjust to your taste)
1 lb. of bread cut into ½" cubes

Final preparations -
Pour half of mixture 1 into 2 ½ qt. baking dish which has been sprayed with cooking oil. Cover with ½ of mixture 2 (Bread mixture). Repeat. Bake 1 hour or until set and golden brown on top.

Column AColumn BColumn CColumn D
ApplesRaisins1 tsp vanilla + 1 tsp water2 cups milk (any kind)
BananasCraisins1 3/ cup rum (plain or flavored)1 1/2 cups skimmed milk + 1/2 cup evaporated milk
PineappleShredded Coconut1/3 cup flavored liqueur1 1/2 cups milk + 1/2 cup cream
PreservesChocolate chunks1 tsp almond extract + 1 tso water2 cups cream
PeachesNuts - any kind you like1.3 cup bourbon2 containers flavored yogurt
Mashed PumpkinChopped Dried Fruit1/3 cup sweet wine1 c coconut milk + 1 cup milk
RhubarbCurrants1 Cup sour cream + 1 cup milk
MangosMinced Garlic
BerriesChopped Fresh Herbs1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
TomatoesChopped mushrooms1 3/ cup white wine
CheeseLeeks or Onions1/3 cup beer

This should give you something to play with for a few days. If you make any extra good bread puddings, please send me some pictures! There will be a special reward for people who send pictures I can share.

Until next time, may your dough always rise, even if it's just going to be used to make bread pudding!

Upcoming Classes:
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, we can not offer live hands-on in-person classes. We hope we will be able to resume such classes in the future.
For now, we are working on how to hold on-line classes. Our (current) plan is to send a "care package" to students with the less perishable ingredients needed for a class, with instructions for any prep work needed, and then to segue into a Zoom conference call. Sadly, this means more planning will be required - it takes about a week to get the supplies together, print the textboks, package and ship it to people in the United States. We're still working on the details, please bear with uis.

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