You can’t get a much more classic dessert than Bread Pudding.

In fact, history records indicate that this southern dish has been served since the 12th century.

This recipe came out necessity.

It was a fantastic way to eliminate the waste of stale bread. Add in a little milk, eggs, sugar and spices, and a delicious dessert was born.

bread pudding
A piece of bread pudding with bourbon sauce drizzled on top.

Classic Bread pudding is an easy to make dessert that takes little effort.

Chunks of stale bread are soaked in milk and then a sweet egg mixture is poured over top. That is it!

It is then baked in the oven until golden brown. And in modern history, a sweet glaze is poured over top to make it even more appealing.

Bread Pudding With Bourbon

Bread pudding can be made with a variety of ingredients. You can keep it classic by using the milk and egg mixture.

bread pudding
Stale French bread torn into cubes, ready to be made into bread pudding.

Or you can jazz it up by adding dried fruit, nuts, or mix in a variety of spices.

And by all means, if you don’t have a French loaf, you can use just about any bread to make bread pudding.

I have even seen bread pudding made with leftover muffins, cake, and corn bread.

But this recipe takes a little spin on the classic bread pudding recipe.

Not only are we adding raisins, we are also adding Bourbon.

Bourbon Soaked Raisins

bread pudding
Raisins soaked in Kentucky Bourbon.

First of all, we soak our raisins in bourbon before adding them to the mixture. This adds a ton of flavor to the bread pudding.

Instead of having chewy raisins in the middle of the dessert, you end up with soft, easy to eat raisins that are delicious!

If you don’t like whiskey, don’t worry! I am not a fan of whiskey drinks at all!

However, the whiskey in this recipe, well, to be quite frank, doesn’t taste like whiskey at all.

Depending on the type of whiskey that you choose to use in this recipe, your bread pudding will take on different flavors.

bread pudding
Add raisins to the soaked bread and fold in to mix.

For instance, I used Jim Bean Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey in this recipe. In doing so, the bread pudding took on stronger flavors of vanilla.

However, if you use a different type of whiskey, you may find that you have other flavors incorporated as well.

The option to use the bourbon whiskey is totally up to you. If you prefer, you can soak your raisins in apple juice, water, or leave them as packaged.

Bourbon Sauce

Bread pudding began to take on a new image in the early 18th century when it was served as a dessert in the finest establishments.

bread pudding
Butter the dish with a pastry brush to prevent the bread pudding from sticking.

That is when the addition of a glaze or dipping sauce first appeared.

Sticking with the whiskey theme, this recipe includes the instructions to make a delicious and smooth tasting bourbon sauce to serve alongside the bread pudding.

I actually prefer to pour a little on top and serve the remainder as a dipping sauce.

But just like the raisins, the making of the bourbon sauce is totally optional. In fact, in the recipe below, it includes a non-alcohol sauce to use a substitution.

bread pudding
Butter, sugar and egg is the base of the bourbon sauce.

And for those who are wondering what is the difference between whiskey and bourbon, the answer is simple.

Whiskey can be made from a variety of grains, typically a variety of wheat, rye, barley and corn.

However, Bourbon is made from 51% corn and must be made in the United States.

So as the saying goes, all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

bread pudding
Baked bread pudding fresh out of the oven.

Whether you choose to make your bread pudding with or without whiskey, you are sure to enjoy the Southern comfort of this Bread Pudding recipe!

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Classic New Orleans Bread Pudding made with French bread soaked in milk and tossed in eggs, sugar and vanilla with added raisins soaked in Bourbon and served with a delicious Bourbon sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread at least a day old, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6-7 cups)
  • 1 qt milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisin soaked an hour or two in bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

Bourbon Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey less or more to taste

Instructions

  1. Before you begin, be sure that your raisins have been soaking in bourbon for at least an hour
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Place milk in a large mixing bowl and add the bread that has been cut into squares. Press the bread into the milk with your hands until the milk is absorbed.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, add in the sugar, vanilla, allspice and cinnamon. Pour over the bread and milk mixture. Add the bourbon-soaked raisins and gently stir to combine.
  5. Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Brush the melted butter along the sides and bottom of the pan. Pour the bread milk and egg mixture into the baking pan.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the liquid has set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan.

Bourbon Sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the sugar and egg and whisk to blend well. Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat. Do not allow the mixture to simmer.
  2. Whisk in bourbon to taste. Whisk again before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.
  3. Serve the bread pudding with bourbon whiskey sauce on the side, pour on top, or do both!
  4. Eat the same day that the bread pudding is made.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to use day old French bread for this recipe or bake bread cubes in a 200°F oven for 8-10 minutes.

For a non-alcoholic sauce: Mix 1/2 cup of water, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and 2 Tbsp of cider vinegar in place of the Bourbon sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce
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