Monday, January 31, 2005

The Bready Rice Pudding Experiment 

Was a sort of success.

OK, the bread pudding came out marvelously light, both airy and chewy at the same time. The "bite" factor (or mouth feel) was very very good.

I took day old bread (white farmers bread, which may be the problem), mixed spices into cream cheese and spread that on the bread, then cut the bread into cubes and layered them in the buttered casserole.

I took steamed rice from an earlier meal (I planned this so we had lots of rice left over). I know, I know, we're supposed to use a sticky rice for pudding, a short-to-mediun grain, but I used a lovely long grain basmati.

I beat eggs with heavy cream, added more spices, and sweetened it with a mix of brown sugar and honey. Then, I stirred the cool rice and some raisins into the custard and poured all of that over the bread cubes.

I baked it in a bain marie for half an hour, stirred it up and added more spices, then baked it until it was done.

Hot and fresh out of the oven, it was pure comfort food, no need for any sauce.

Cold, for breakfast, I made an Orange Frangelico Sauce to pour over it, and that was very yummy, especially since I sprinkled toasted haelnuts on it, too.

Blending a Swedish style baked rice pudding with a traditional bread pudding was an inspired idea.

I think I'm going to tinker with the recipe some more, jazz it up with more spice (I thought it needed cardamom), and try it with a different, more flavorful bread. I have some sourdough from Australia coming, and I may bake bread with that - it's called Tasmanian Devil. I think I'll make a brioche dough with it, and use that for the bread base - or maybe a cinnaman maple swirl bread, or a sweet herb bread of some sort. I may also use a riper cheese than cream cheese, or perhaps creme fraiche or yogurt in place of part of hte heavy cream.

It's yummy, but boring, and I want to wow it up a bit without detracting from it's comfort properties.

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