Today is National French Bread Day. French bread is a light, yeast-raised bread with a chewy inside and it a crusty exterior. This exterior is made by brushing or spraying the outside of the loaf with water while baking. What sets French bread apart from many other breads is that it is made with water instead of milk.
Of course, in France, the French don’t actually call them French bread. Instead the French call their country’s signature baked good a “baguette.” Whatever you want to call it, you cannot deny that French bread is by far one of the tastiest breads out there. There are lots of things you can do with French Bread other than just eating it plain or with a bit of butter. Use it to make sandwiches, sop up vegetable soup broth, or use day old French Bread to make homemade croutons or bread pudding.
Here’s a recipe from Beaumont Inn, in Kentucky for Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce.
1 pound French bread
3 ¼ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup pecans *see post for notes
¼ cup raisins (optional) *see post for notes
Bourbon sauce (optional)
Chantilly cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking oil spray (butter flavor preferred).
- Cut the French bread into cubes and dump them in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. *See post for tips
- Pour the cinnamon and sugar over the bread cubes and toss until evenly distributed (you will have some on the bottom of the bowl).
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add the milk and vanilla. Whisk them until well blended.
- Add the egg-milk mixture to the bread cubes tossing until well absorbed.
- Spread half the bread mixture in the baking dish and sprinkle with pecans and raisins. Top with the rest of the bread cubes.
- Pour any of the egg-milk mixture remaining in the bowl, over the top of the bread cubes.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until lightly brown. (I wouldn’t recommend baking longer than 30 minutes, otherwise your pudding will dry out).
- Serve warm with Bourbon sauce or Chantilly Cream.