Bread Pudding and Good Life Decisions!

Lifestyle reset: In the thick of it now

Weight: Eyes front, soldier

So, remember that whole bit where I was back on the “eating right” wagon? You know, that whole promise I made to cut back, start noshing veggies and fruit instead of potato chips and….more potato chips?

Well, I’m still working on making responsible decisions, and from here on out that involves NOT marathoning three straight seasons of the Great British Bake-Off.

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See, I’ve learned that when I watch this scrumptious show, I feel compelled to try making my own bread.

Yep. The Hostile Dieter, the person trying to eat LESS stuff, made her own bread last week. And she’s STILL trying to scrape the flour off the counter.

In my defense, I was utterly powerless to the thrall that is trying to perfectly replicate Paul Hollywood’s remarkable baguettes.

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For those of you that haven’t seen the Great British Bake-Off, it is a marvel of British television. Twelve amateur bakers compete in a tent (!?) to create a staggering array of traditional and non-traditional British bakes, which are judged to perfection by steely-eyed Paul Hollywood and dessert GODDESS Mary Berry.

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This show is delectable, and unlike other cooking/baking shows, this one is emotional crack. Contestants tend to be quite adorable and elicit a wide range of emotional responses (NADIYA! MARTHA! RuByYyYyYy!!!!), and perhaps most importantly: they’re all SO nice to each other.

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In a cynical world, GBBO is a beacon of human kindness.

….Of course the show is in the midst of a HUGE network shake-up, but that’s neither here nor there.

The point is, I am no longer allowed to watch GBBO unsupervised; when I do I end up with four loaves of homemade bread. Then when the bread goes stale because even I can only eat so much bread, I end up taking the stale bread and making it into dessert.

Specifically, bread pudding.

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Photo via The Spruce

If you’ve never tried bread pudding before, do it. Like, now. Bread pudding is french toast on steroids. It’s a delectable dessert consisting of bread that has been soaked in milk, eggs, sugar, maple syrup, melted butter, and cinnamon, then it’s baked, preferably with chocolate chips. Then it’s eaten while it’s still warm with both hands.

…Okay maybe not that last part.

So to catch you up, I’m supposed to be making healthier choices, and last night I took a page out of Mary Berry’s book and ate chunks of stale french bread soaked in butter and three kinds of sugar!

Oh well.

One thing I promised myself when I started this quest was that I wouldn’t completely deprive myself of the stuff I wanted. I did that once before, and ended up dreaming about shotgunning donuts. I cannot begin to tell you how dirty I felt waking up from that one.

This time around, I’m focusing on developing impulse control. So…you know, I can make the bread pudding, but I probably shouldn’t eat it right out of the pan a la Joey Tribbiani.

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I suppose in that regard I succeeded; even three months ago I might have gone in for seconds or (gulp) thirds, and I didn’t!

…But I’m still not allowed to watch Great British Bake-Off unsupervised.

Here’s the bread pudding recipe. I truly wish I could take credit, but this gem comes from Chicago chef Ronak Patel.

Maple Bread Pudding

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp clove
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups white bread, preferably a little stale cut into cubes
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips of your choice (I did a mixture of white and milk chocolate)
  1. In a large bowl beat together milk, eggs, sugar, syrup, spices, and vanilla.
  2. Stir in the bread, 4 tbsp of melted butter, and chocolate chips.
  3. Cover and set to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until most of the mixture is soaked into the bread. (note: this can be stored overnight)
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. Transfer bread mixture to a greased casserole pan, dotting mixture with the remaining 2 tbsp of cold butter.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes until pudding is just set yet moist in the middle, and has a nice brown color.
  7. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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