Lord my Mama was a great cook as was her Mama before her, my Nanny … well come to think of it there isn’t a bad cook in the family, at least on the McKellar side … I don’t know much at all about the Kincaid side except my Daddy was a great cook but he learned mostly from watching food shows on television. All of us have a reputation for being great cooks … from family reunions, to church dinners, to cooking for friends and family … we always get rave reviews.
Bread Puddin (pudding to those of you with no Southern blood running through your veins lol) … now that’s one of those recipes everyone has a recipe for. There’s some version of it in most every country: Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, England … I could go on and on. Most every version calls for the basics: Milk, Bread, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Vanilla … the amounts all vary and the density of the final cooked pudding also differs. Some leave their bread sliced and some crumble it up … Some add raisins or other fruit … and Some even have a sauce over them, as the Irish version does (Whiskey Sauce), but in my opinion, and everyone else who has had my Mama’s version, its not needed.
I don’t keep Whole Milk in my house unless, of course, I’m making something like my homemade Mac n Cheese which just cannot be made so delicious without using Whole Milk/Half n Half … sooooooooo for this recipe, which I usually make when I’ve got some leftover bread of some sort that needs to be used, I use my Silk Very Vanilla but you can still use Whole Milk as it calls for … the Silk though works just as well! As for the bread I use … I’ve used everything from regular sandwich bread to leftover hamburger buns to leftover artisan bread … the only difference is, depending on the type bread, you add more or less Milk (or Silk in my case).
About the missing measurement for the Milk … that’s because as I’ve just said the amount you use depends on the type of bread and how dried out it may be (day old, three days old, whatever). The mixture must be very wet and really soupy before it goes into the oven … here's pictures showing the mixture before I popped it into the oven.
Finally, as for the optional nuts, I love using Pecans in mine but I sometimes leave them out because my hubby is not a fan of nuts in his food … something to do with the texture lol Oh and the Coconut, its kinda optional too but then again ... it wouldn't be my Mama's Bread Puddin without it cause she loooooooved Coconut.
Oh and one more final hint … the key to ‘mixing it up’ is mixing it with your hands … Mama and my Nanny always said that adds a little Southern sweetness!!!
So here it is … my Mama’s Southern Bread Puddin
Mama’s Southern Bread Puddin
Loaf of Bread
1-2 cups Sugar
2 sticks Butter (melted)
14 oz Coconut
1 Tbsp Vanilla
Chopped Nuts (optional)
Tear bread up, mix eggs, sugar and remaining ingredients. Add enough milk to make it soupy. Pour into 13x9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees til done.