Recipes with Chef William Turner: Southern Style Bread Pudding

This is one of Chef William Turner’s favorite Southern bread pudding recipes, and is a wonderful holiday tradition, especially in Louisiana. You can make this as outlined, or tweak it to fit either what you have on hand or according to what best suits your preferences. There’s very little that could go wrong if you change it up a tiny bit!

Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 quarts of cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 loaf rye bread 
  • 1 loaf of brioche 
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries 
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tbs cinnamon 
  • Spiced Rum
Directions
  1. First thing you should do is cube the breads. As the pudding will turn out better when the breads are dry, take each loaf out of their wrappings and let them dry for about an hour or so. Once dry, cube the rye and brioche bread simultaneously and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and granulated sugar, then whisk together until fully incorporated. 
  3. Next, it’s time to make the custard. In a small sauce pan, scald 1 quart of cream, 1 tsp of the vanilla extract, and half of your dry cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Now for the tricky part: tempering the egg mixture with the hot cream. Make sure you pour the cream into the egg-sugar-spice mixture slowly by gradually increasing the amount of cream while whisking. 
  5. Once that is done, coat a large baking dish (9×13 is typical) with non-stick spray and set aside. This will be for the bread mixture.
  6. Add the dried berries and chocolate chips to the cubed breads in a separate bowl. Pour the pre-made custard mixture over the cube bread half at a time until bread is moist but not soggy.
  7. Spread the bread and custard mixture into the greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for a minimum of 35 minutes. (You can adjust the pan size if you don’t have a standard 9×13, but keep in mind that the bigger the pan size, the longer the cook time.) 
  8. To make the rum sauce topping, reduce 1/2 cup of spiced rum on the stovetop until alcohol has been burnt off. This can cause a flame, and should be done with caution. Add 1/2 cup of cream 1/2 cup powdered sugar and allow to come to a slow roll. 

When plating this pudding, I personally prefer to garnish it with fresh fruits such as raspberries or strawberries. A cinnamon stick is also a nice touch along with freshly whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream; all of these are great options! However, you can keep it simple and serve it only with the rum sauce. I also prefer it warmed, which is the best way to enjoy bread pudding.

This is one of my all-time favorite comfort dishes. I hope it delights your senses as much as it does mine, and brings a cozy and delectable touch to your holiday season.

Whether it’s a celebrity dinner, bachelorette party or corporate event, Chef William Turner has made a name for himself as the Valley’s go-to private chef. Learn more at www.chefwilliamturner.com.

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