We Dominicans did not come up with the idea of bread pudding (pudín de pan or budín de pan), it seems to be a near-universal dish, but like everything in our cuisine we gave it our own touch and added a ton of flavor.
And we did that by adding spices, lots of it. In case you haven’t noticed, we love our spices.
In almost all Dominican desserts, spices are a fundamental part. Cinnamon and cloves, are used in many of them. Other spices used in desserts are ginger (OK, technically it is a root), star anise, and others.
In bread pudding the combination of spices that is used varies from house to house, but in my home recipe we go pedal to the metal: cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. And if I felt a little more adventurous, even a pinch of powdered allspice berries.
With a great combination of spices (how can you go wrong with ginger?) and a soft chewy texture, this is going to please everybody around the table. And since we don’t have an “official” Christmas dessert I formally propose we adopt this gem of a dish for that purpose.
Pudín de Pan (Spiced Bread Pudding) is a great way to use day-old bread.
Who’s with me?
Pudín de Pan Recipe (Dominican Spiced Bread Pudding): It's like no bread pudding I have tasted elsewhere: chewy, moist, aromatic and flavorful.
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar for dusting pan
- 4 tablespoons of softened butter for greasing pan
- 3 1/2 cups of evaporated milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger root or ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of clove powder
- 5 cups (10 oz [284 gr]) of day-old bread cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup of golden and dark raisins
- 1/2 cup of softened butter
Grease a 12-cup baking pan
Coat the bottom of the pan with the brown sugar.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 °F [200 °C]
Mix eggs with half a cup of milk (reserve remaining milk).
Sieve to get rid of undissolved egg parts.
In a deep pot boil the remaining milk over very low heat, adding the cinnamon, sugar, salt, vanilla, ginger and clove powder to it.
When it breaks a boil add the bread cubes and raisins.
While it is still cooking over low heat make sure that all the bread is soaked in milk.
Add remaining butter, mix until the butter has melted and remove from the heat.
Add the egg mixture to it and mix well and fast.
Pour the batter into the baking pan being careful not to disturbe the sugar coating.
Bake until a you insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean (50-60 minutes).
Cool to room temperature before removing from the pan. Serve slightly chilled.
Using different breads will produce bread puddings with different flavors and textures. I personally prefer French bread or pan de agua, but any plain bread will do.
Check these other Dominican bread pudding recipes: