Roasted Beef. Fries with fish. Trifle. Custard and jelly. Dick was seen. Pudding made from bread. All typical British cuisine, produced on a cheap and mocked across the globe.
I have a soft spot in my heart for bread pudding in particular. My dad used to make it with me as an 8-year-old boy when mum was out with her friends for the evening, and I used to love it.
It’s my first recollection of consistently helping to cook anything. Dad’s bread pudding was excessively sweet, syrupy, mushy, and often undercooked. It was fantastic!
Today’s version is an updated, pimped-out, jacked-up version of a traditional British Bread Pudding made using an Easter staple, hot cross buns. Served with cream and eggs, and flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. I’ve also added white chocolate and cranberries for a luscious, rich, and delectable variation. The smokiness imparted by cooking over charcoal and wood rounds out this dessert excellently.
If you can’t locate hot cross buns, use plain white bread, croissants, or even doughnuts. In fact, I would urge you to try new things!
What is Bread Pudding?
Household Assistance Manual The Compleat Housewife, however I doubt this title would be accepted by a publisher in this day and age.It is said to have initially appeared in an 18th century British cookbook.
It was made by lining a baking dish with puff pastry and then alternating layers of penny loaf with butter, raisins, and currants. Before baking, a thickened spice cream was poured over it, along with orange blossom water. It was titled A Bread and Butter Pudding for Fasting Days and asked for stale bread, which is still recommended in many recipes today.
Many other nations have a Bread Pudding-style food in their repertoire, both sweet and savory, although they are largely variants on the preceding dish.
What are Hot Cross Buns?
Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Easter treat in Australia. These spicy fruit buns are so popular that they can be seen in shops all year.
However, I’ve heard that they aren’t as widely accessible in the United States. You may always try baking them yourself (I suggest this recipe or our own grill-style variation), but if not, simply use plain white bread or croissants. It isn’t critical what kind of bread you use.
Why smoked bread pudding?
Smoking pastries may seem like a weird notion if you’ve never tried it. It turns out that the smokiness of cooking over charcoal and wood may provide a great depth of flavor to your pastries.
Cooking outdoors is both enjoyable and easy, particularly if you already have charcoal in the grill from cooking your meal.
Preparing your custard
Although this recipe has the same basic components as a typical custard, we will not be pre-heating it or converting it into custard until later, since we will be cooking it as part of the bread pudding.
In a medium mixing dish, combine 4 whole eggs and one egg yolk, then add 2 cups of pouring or cooking cream. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract (I use paste with seeds for a deeper flavor), a teaspoon of salt, and a tsp each of cinnamon powder and grated nutmeg to this.
You might also add 1 tbsp brown sugar or caster sugar for a little sweeter meal. Because the hot cross buns already include cinnamon and other typical spices, you don’t need to go overboard with them here.
Light your BBQ
Light your smoker using your favorite technique (I use a chimney starter with a full chimney of charcoal), and aim for 375F for this cook.
If it slightly overshoots, that’s OK, but try not to get it beyond 390F or you’ll overcook the exterior, leaving the interior raw, undercooked, and soggy.
While this is excellent for 8-year-old boys and middle-aged fathers who cook to spend time with their kids (Thank you, dad! ), your visitors or relatives may not be as delighted.
For this recipe, I use Pecan pieces, but cherry or apple would work just as well. Let us know in the comments what you use!
Assemble your pudding
While your BBQ is heating up, start assembling your Bread Pudding. Take your hot cross buns and cut them into 1.5-2 inch bits. You don’t have to be precise since the pleasure of this meal stems from its rustic, plain setting.
Fill your 9×9 baking dish with them, cramming them together like a bready (or hot cross bun-ny) Tetris game.
Layer your hot cross bun foundation liberally with white chocolate chips and cranberries. I use around half a cup of each, but I’m not the fun police, so go crazy if you want more! After that, pour over your custard mixture, being sure to cover the whole surface.
Don’t worry if it seems a little soupy at this stage (it should be a potato and leek consistency, not a broth!! ), it will firm up throughout cooking.
Cooking your pudding
Once your BBQ is hot, add a few pieces of your smoking wood, then place your baking dish inside and shut the lid.
Allow to bake for 45 minutes, or until the center registers 165F. It should still have a wobble to it like jello (almost like a souffle consistency), but this will firm a little more as it cooks and cools after you remove it from the smoker.
After approximately 10 minutes, serve with whipped cream or ice cream and a sprinkle of powdered sugar and cinnamon, if desired.
For an additional creamy alcoholic richness, serve with Baileys Irish Cream.Greetings, buddy!