When life drops your banana bread in the floor…
July 6, 2016
…make bread pudding.
One of the dumbest moves I have made lately was to let a loaf pan of banana bread, on its way out of the oven, slip from my hands and land upside down in the floor. Banana bread being a soft, moist quickbread, it is not going to stand a chance of holding its shape like a yeast loaf MIGHT do. No, it’s going to splat into a bare resemblance of its former self.
After some of the more creative cursing I’ve employed of late, I scooped it up with a pair of spatulas onto a plate and left it alone, to figure out what to do with it the next day. Tasted it; it was damn good banana bread, too.
Sometime during the night, inspiration struck.
I would make bread pudding.
Now, I have not made bread pudding since I was in high school, and it wasn’t very doggoned good then. But I do like bread pudding when it’s done well, and when it doesn’t have raisins in it, because I don’t care much for any baked good that has raisins in it.
So the next day, when I had my cooking apprentice Victoria over here (we made yeast bread and canned kraut, in addition to the bread pudding and sauce for same), we got busy and did that very thing.
The banana bread was essentially by this recipe. I cut back on the proportions a bit to fit the number of about-to-g0-south bananas I had, cut back on the sugar a bit more than that, used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and used walnuts instead of pecans. Could’ve been a little sweeter; I used a half-cup of brown sugar instead of the cup called for. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably go with 3/4 cup. Good banana bread when I tasted the smushed loaf, though, which made me determined to salvage it in some fashion.
I perused several recipes for bread pudding. I knew I wanted a rich, custardy one; this recipe looked like it would fit the bill. I cut back to about two cups of 2 percent milk, since that was what I had, and a cup and a half of whipping cream. I figured since the bread was more moist than a comparable yeast bread would be, I wouldn’t need as much liquid. I left out the raisins entirely, as neither my apprentice nor I approve of them. She tore up the torn-up bread into small bits and put them in two 9-inch round cake pans; we whipped together the custard and poured over the top and let it set a bit.
It baked for about an hour and 15 minutes, and we felt compelled to sample. It was pretty doggoned excellent. Well worth crashing the original loaf on the floor.
The original recipe called for a spiced rum sauce, but as the apprentice is from a tee-totaling family, we opted for a vanilla sauce instead. Recipe is here. It made about a pint of sauce, which I split between two half-pint jars so each pudding would have a jar of sauce to go with it. I sent one home with the apprentice, and we’ll enjoy the other one here tonight (and maybe for breakfast tomorrow, too).
All in all, quite a victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.
It’d about be worth making banana bread again to have the pudding. I don’t guess you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em would have to drop it on the floor to make it work right.