I had two pieces of rock hard bread leftover from when I made bread last week. Since I worked oh-so-hard on the bread (that was sarcasm. could you tell?) I hated to throw any of it away. We had a loaf of Trader Joe's brown rice bread in the fridge, so I decided to combine the bread and make a yummy bread pudding.
Oh! And I used a crockpot.
--bread. I wasn't smart enough to count the pieces. I think it was probably about 6 or so. But you want enough to soak up the liquid, but not too much that the bread isn't completely saturated and squishy. (I should have counted the pieces..)
--2 cups of soy milk (If you are going to use cow's milk, you might need a bit of extra sugar)
--1 t vanilla
--1/2 t cinnamon
--1/4 cup dried fruit--I used cranberries
--1/4 cup brown sugar (I forgot to pull this out of the cabinet before I took the picture)
--1/4 cup raw sugar (optional)
I used my 1.5 quart mini crockpot for this dish. If you don't have a little crockpot, you can insert a heat-resistant dish into your regular crockpot. Or you can just plop it in your big one and keep an eye on it---it will cook much quicker this way.
--in a bowl, mix eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
--tear up bread and push down into the liquid mixture
--fold in dried fruit
cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 3-5. The cooking time will greatly depend on what size crockpot you use and cooking vessel size. I didn't prop open the lid; it was completely closed.
The pudding will be done when the top is browned and you can push on the top pieces of bread without too much liquid squirting out. This took 3.5 hours in my mini crockpot.
I thought this "needed something"--so I decided to bruleeicize the top by sprinkling a 1/4 cup of raw sugar on the top and broiling for a few minutes.
I served this to the kids as an after-school snack and they were really pleased. The brown rice bread in the pink bag at Trader Joe's doesn't have the best flavor. Even when soaked in milk and sugar. I'd recommend a better brand...
and if you aren't gluten free, go for a nice crusty french bread. yum.