My husband is absolutely head over heals in love with bread pudding. Perhaps this stems from his German roots and his mother's traditional way of cooking. Bread pudding has been around for centuries and was one way people would use their stale bread as they could not afford to let any food go to waste. They would use eggs to bind the bread and it often mixed with some type of sweetener and spices. It is a very "old school" type of dessert and is not typically found on dessert menus anymore...unfortunately. But, on the rare occasion that we come across one while dining out, we most certainly order it and rank it against our top picks.
Many of the traditional bread pudding recipes you come across use refined sugars and heavy creams. Avoiding dairy and limiting or avoiding the consumption of refined sugars is important to not only myself, but to many of you as well. So I did some thinking and experimenting with ingredients. I'm happy to report that I came up with a recipe that has received my husbands stamp of approval. I love using a gluten free bread from a local bakery called New Cascadia. My top choice for bread pudding is their challah bread. And when that is not available, their Honey Gold bread is my second choice for this recipe. Both breads are perfect for making bread pudding and even french toast! They use wholesome ingredients and are a bakery dedicated to being gluten free. If you are not local, I encourage you to seek out some local bakeries that might perhaps offer something similar. When it comes to bread pudding, choosing the right bread can make all the difference. Of course you can use whatever bread you wish but I just wanted let you know how it rolls it my kitchen.
3/4 cup organic maple syrup
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 cups apples, diced
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 cups gluten free bread, I use Challah or Honey Gold, cut into approximately 1 inch cubes
1 cup caramel sauce (see my homemade recipe)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with coconut oil.
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, maple syrup, spices, and vanilla.
3. Toss apple chunks with the lemon juice. Then add the apples and bread to the egg mixture.
4. Combine the coconut milk with the water in a small saucepan and heat until warm.
5. Add milk to the egg and bread mixture. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the liquid to absorb into the bread.
6. Pour mixture into baking dish. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of caramel sauce and bake for about 45 minutes.
7. Serve with remaining caramel sauce.