Crock Pot Bread Pudding, Recipe and Ramble

These are leftovers, because I forgot to snap a picture during the original eating

The following is part recipe and part confession.  The recipe part is super easy and yields delicious bread pudding.  The confession aspect is more complicated…see, it turns out I am a total nana.  Technically, I’m only nana-like, but if I started a promiscuous line or lived back in, say, Tudor England, I’m technically old enough to be an actual nana.  Like, the sort of nana with grandchildren – the real sort.  In actuality, I have two houseplants (one dead) and neither child nor grandchild.  Scattered throughout this process were moments akin to what a grandmother might do, for which I (cringingly) awarded myself “nana points.”

I’m not exactly sure what compelled me to make bread pudding, but the need was strong.  I’m not even a huge fan of bread pudding and I lack any emotional attachment to it.  Growing up, we rarely had it as my mother classified it as soggy, old bread.  That is a true statement, except you then cook – or crock – the soggy, old bread.  Conveniently, I had a little over one-third of a baguette left over from earlier in the week.  Completely stale, bread pudding or bread crumbs were probably the only practical purposes for it.  If you are keeping track, that’s two nana points: one for bread pudding and one for salvaging old bread.

Since I wanted to use my crockpot, I decided to start my recipe search at Crockpot 365.  I didn’t find exactly what I wanted there, but I did find a starting point.  There were some heavy adaptations.  I’m going to award myself 1.5 nana points for this – one for using a crockpot and one-half for looking for the recipe from a trusted source.  Since my family doesn’t really “do” bp, I didn’t have a family member to call and shockingly I couldn’t think of a single friend of mine who has recently (ever) made bread pudding.  I’m a big fan of The Crock Pot Lady, so that’s halfway to asking someone at bridge club.  Only halfway though, as I used the scary internet.

This stuff yields BP

Look! Those are my ingredients.  The two main adaptations I made from the crockpot 365 recipe are that I swapped chocolate chips (semi-sweet) for dried fruit and coconut milk for soy milk. I also added nutmeg and increased the vanilla and cinnamon. Although pictured, I ended up not adding the orange zest, which was a poor choice.  I think the zest would have added a little bit of a nice flavor and the packets were a fun impulse buy, which I have yet to use.  Still.  Nanas substitute heavily, to make recipes their own.  However!  Since my subbed CHOCOLATE for RAISINS (instead of, say, prunes for raisins) I’m going to call this one a wash.  Still 3.5 NP.  I am not sure what NPs are worth, but I’m clearly primed to earn more.

Want to know why I made the substitutions?  If you know me, the chocolate is obvious.  I wanted chocolate and don’t think raisins have any business whatsoever being in my baked goods.  Raisins are for trail mix, eating out of boxes, and cereal.  That’s it.  Raisins, get out of my cookies and my bread.  That was ornery…like a nana…+1.  The coconut milk.  Okay, crocking with real milk can be kind of hit or miss, especially because I am a 2% girl.  (Skim seems to crock best, probably because it is cloudy water.)  The original recipe said to use soy milk. Soy milk is gross to me and thus not in my pantry.  You know what was in my pantry though?  Coconut milk.  Do you know why coconut milk was in my pantry?  Because it was on sale and I had a coupon and there was a store coupon, so I got that carton for twenty-five cents.  Between the pantry stocking and the coupon stacking, that is probably two nana points.  One more as nanas remember when milk actually was twenty-five cents, without a sale or even one coupon. You know what else it was?  An awesome substitution.  The flavor was subtle, but worked well with the chocolate and spices.  I tweaked the spices because that’s what I always do.  But!  This time I mostly wrote down what I did, so that I could share the recipe.  Nanas share. +.5 for that one, because I need to round out the previous half point.  That makes eight.

This is appropriate gloop factor

Once my bread was soaking my bowl of gloop, I needed to grab my crock pot.  I held a quick debate with myself over which one to crock this in. I mean, the baby would obviously be too small and the 1.5 qt seemed just right, but would it be adequate?  Should I pull out my big ‘un?  No.  1.5 seemed right.  And, yes, I do have three crock pots. I used to own four, thanks for asking.  And, yes, that is a big ol’ NP.  Nine.  Nueve.  Neuf.

Suspected proper size CP for BP

Because this recipe involves raw eggs, I started out crocking it on high.  I always do that with eggs; you just can’t be too careful with eggs. (+1.)  After about 30-40 minutes, I turned it down to low, as I needed a nap (+1) and waking up to burned dessert would be just awful.  I did NOT wake up to burned dessert.  I woke up to a delicious smelling dessert, trying to escape from its crock.  I poked it with a wooded spoon a few times and it sunk back into its crock, never to rise again.  (That part might have been wrong.)  I debated just transferring the whole situation to my larger crock, but then decided it needed to make do (+1). 

It's ALIVE!!!

As alluded to in this week’s five good things, I brought my crock pot bread pudding to KTB’s for a crockvention and football watching (+1).  (She crocked a great beef stew; we both had seconds.)  To travel, I removed my crock from the cooker bit and wrapped it in a towel to keep it warm (+1), which I taped in place.  I used an ugly, old bath towel – but not too ugly and old as I wouldn’t want KTB to think I own ugly old bath towels (+1). We both enjoyed it.  I ate the leftovers for breakfast two days later and while the texture changed a bit, I still liked it it and polished off the remains.  A real nana would have eaten it regardless, but that’s one nana point I am not going to earn.

Recipe for Crock Pot Bread Pudding (adapted from Crockpot 365 )

– 2 c coconut milk

– 2 eggs, beaten

– 1.5 t vanilla

– 1t cinnamon

– ½ t nutmeg

– orange zest to taste (optional, I did not include it and regret that)

– ¼ c brown sugar, packed

– ½ c, scant, chocolate chips, semi-sweet

– Approx ½ baguette, stale, chunked up (if you baguette is fresh, you can dry it out a bit in the oven after you cut it OR plan ahead less, but enough to chunk it up and leave it out and uncovered for a few hours or overnight to hasten staling)

Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl, mix well.  (I used a fork and that was fine.)  Add bread and stir gently.  Wait a few minutes, to allow the bread to soak up the liquid, but don’t let it get too gloppy.  (Too gloppy would be falling apart; avoid this by adding using more bread.)  Once the bread has absorbed most of the liquid, fold in the chocolate chips.  Dump it into your crock.  (My1.5qt was pushing it, with my amount of bread.  Steph, the crock pot lady, says you can dump it in a bowl and cook it in a large crock.)  Cook on high for 30-40 minutes and then either continue to cook it on high for another 1.5-2.5 hours or bump it down to low for another 2-4 hours.  Mine took about three on low.  Serve warm.


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