Mexican bread pudding, known as “Budín de Pan”, is popularly sold at bakeries, usually made from the sweet breads that were not sold the day before. Some bakers prepare their bread pudding with shredded coconut, candied figs, and chopped pecans, in addition to the common use of raisins. Mexican bread pudding is also made at home – a good tool for savvy homemakers that like to make good use of leftover bread. The Mexican version of bread pudding is a little bit more compact than the one made in other countries, where the final texture is more light and fluffy. Bread pudding in Mexico is usually cut into brick-shaped slices when sold at bakeries.
I’ve been making this bread for years, and as a matter of fact I think it’s one of the first things that I learned how to bake. I’ve used all types of breads, from sweet breads and French rolls, to hot dog and hamburger rolls. All throughout those years, though, I never wrote down the recipe. I simply mixed the bread pieces together and added the rest of the ingredients as needed. If the mixture was dry, I added more milk, if it needed more flavor, then I added more vanilla and cinnamon.
One day, when I was living in Monterrey, Sra. Hortencia asked me to teach her how to make this bread, and I told her that I didn’t know the exact recipe, since it depended on quantity of bread left over. Well, the next day she came home with a large bag of bread, and told me that “she just wanted to watch me do it”. So, we made some bread pudding that day. It was until last year that I finally started weighing and measuring the ingredients for my bread pudding recipe. I know that if you’ve tried this in Mexico or at a Mexican bakery, you will agree that it tastes just like this.
MAKES 10-12 SERVINGS
- 500 Grams of day-old bread, cut into pieces* (about 8 cups)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup raisins**
- 1 stick of cinnamon (optional)
· You can use a mix of breads, as I mentioned above. Some breads you can use are: sandwich bread, hot-dog bread, sweet breads, and French rolls. The types of bread you use will affect the amount of sugar needed. You will need to check for sweetness before pouring the mixture into the baking dish.
· You can also add 1/3 cup of shredded coconut or chopped pecans.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. Grease an 8-IN square-baking dish.
2. Place bread pieces in a large bowl and pour the milk over them. Let them soak the milk for a few minutes to soften. (About 5 minutes) With your hand or with a fork, crumbled the pieces.
3. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and pour into the bread mixture, then add the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. Mix until you have a uniform mixture. Do not over mix.
4. Pour the mixture over your greased baking dish, and smooth the top with the help of a spatula. Cut the cinnamon stick in pieces and insert in different places as shown in the picture. The addition of the cinnamon stick is optional; I like to do it because that’s the way I remember the bread pudding being sold in my hometown growing up. The cinnamon adds flavor to the bread and your kitchen smells wonderful while you’re baking it.
5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven. Taste with a toothpick to check if it’s done. The top surface will form a crust, but the bread will still feel soft.
6. When you get your bread pudding out of the oven, it will look fluffy; wait until it cools off to cut. When it cools, the fluffiness will be reduced. Check the difference in the pictures above.
Serve with some honey or maple syrup. I like to pour a little bit of fig syrup. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.
If you make this recipe, please come back to leave a comment.