Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stuffed French Toast Bread Pudding


Bread pudding lightly sweetened with maple syrup with cream cheese and raisins.  Great breakfast.

What to do with sandwich bread that didn't turn out as soft and fluffy as preferred?  French toast is always an option, but an even better one is bread pudding.  I wanted my bread pudding to be more of a breakfast instead of a dessert so I didn't sweeten it as much as usual.  I added some cream cheese to the mix to make it reminiscent of stuffed french toast and that was a great idea.  The cream cheese added a bit of cheesiness to the pudding with out being overwhelming and cut the sweetness a bit.  I planned on eating this for breakfast all week, but as I was putting the dish in the refrigerator it slipped from my grasp to shatter on my kitchen floor (I really need a rubber floor in my kitchen, anything that gets dropped shatters).  I said some very un-ladylike words and had to throw it all away.  At least I had one serving and it was great.  When I get over the pain of my loss maybe I will try to make this again.

Slightly modified from Better Homes cookbook

5 cups of bread pieces (I used a dense multigrain)
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 oz cream cheese, softened (1/2 pack)
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut or tear the bread into large chunks and set aside in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix the cream cheese, eggs, milk, vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon and maple syrup.  Pour the liquid over the bread and toss to coat every piece with liquid.  Let sit for a few minutes so the bread absorbs some of the liquid.  Then, spoon into a buttered casserole dish while layering in the raisins.  Press down on the bread so that it is packed tightly into the dish and pour over the rest of the liquid.  Allow the casserole to sit for about 10 minutes until much of the liquid is absorbed, then cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for about 10 minutes longer to form a brown crust (pudding should be set so that a knife inserted in the center comes out clean).  Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings.  Serve with bacon and orange wedges (from the orange that was zested).  Enjoy, and try not to drop it.

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