May 9, 2018 10:54:01 AM
America's Test Kitchen's slow-cooker bread pudding boasts tender bread cubes enveloped by a rich custard and accented with a few stir-ins and a simple topping. Getting the texture of this company-worthy dessert just right was a challenge; early tests yielded mushy or dry puddings.
After testing types of bread, America's Test Kitchen settled on challah for its rich flavor. Using stale bread was key as it was much better at soaking up our custard. By soaking and pressing the bread into the custard for just 10 minutes prior to cooking, we ensured that the bread absorbed the custard evenly.
After three hours in the slow cooker, we had moist, evenly cooked bread pudding that was definitely luxurious. Hearty white sandwich bread can be substituted for the challah. If you don't have stale bread, you can dry fresh bread pieces by baking them on a rimmed baking sheet in a 225-degree oven for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will need an oval slow cooker for this recipe.
SLOW COOKED CLASSIC BREAD PUDDING
Serves 8 to 10
Start to finish: 15 minutes prep time, plus 3 to 4 hours on low, plus 30 minutes to cool
Slow cooker size: 5-7 quarts
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
9 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound challah, cut into 1-inch pieces (12 cups), staled overnight
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Nutrition information per serving: 470 calories; 258 calories from fat; 29 g fat (16 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 253 mg cholesterol; 381 mg sodium; 44 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 24 g sugar; 10 g protein.