More times than not, we end up at the North Market, where local businesses share a huge building filled with hungry people. The risk you take is that it's so good, you have to fight for what you want. And by fight, I mean shove your way through crowds of people aimlessly wandering. I mean, I can't blame them though...there's too many french pastries, massive pretzels, and donut spots to be distracted by...so many options! Well, for some of us on a mission, I'm here for bread.
I have a serious respect for bread makers. I love that you can watch them, so focused in their craft; kneading, molding, and working the dough until it reaches peak perfection. It's a thing of beauty, serious precision, and timing. Can you tell I have a bit of bread envy?
So I don't feel too bad about splurging on a loaf.
Yet if we don't manage to eat it with a meal right away, we always manage to let half go stale. I'll whip up croutons, french toast, and all sorts of things with the crunchy hunk leftover, but for last weekend, I tried something a little different. Banana bread pudding.
This is what you should be eating for all of your Sunday breakfasts. Really. No excuses.
The bread is soaked in warm milk and butter, left to soften, which creates this moist, bouncy texture. Ripe bananas are blended with sugar and egg then poured on top. And if that's not enough (because it never is) I thickened a vanilla bourbon syrup to drizzle on top once it was in and out of the oven. Oh, and pecans. Can't forget pecans.
I know it sounds complicated, but the steps don't involve a lot of different ingredients, it's just a matter of timing, and boy, does it make a difference.
It'll be the most light and fluffy bread pudding you've ever laid eyes on. And sunk your teeth into. Promise.
Have a wonderful Sunday friends!
Banana Bread "Pudding"
Serves 8 people
Roughly 4-5 cups of stale bread (you can use fresh; some people think that the stale bread soaks up more liquid)
2 cups milk
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts, whatever you prefer)
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray a 9x9 inch pan with cooking spray, or grease with butter or oil
1. Set bread chunks in the pan. In a large pan over medium heat on the stove top, melt butter. Once butter is melted, pour in milk and whisk together. Take the mixture and evenly pour it over top of the bread, (I use a large spoon). Let it sit for 10-15 minutes so it gets soft.
2. Next, take the eggs, and whip them with the sugar, vanilla, spices, and squished bananas. Pour this over top of the softened bread, sprinkle the pecans over top, and bake for roughly 30-40 minutes. Once you can start to see the bread browning at the edges, pull it out and let it sit while you make the syrup.
3. Take another large pan and put it on medium heat over the stove. Melt the butter down and whisk in the brown sugar. Add the milk, then the vanilla, and finally sift the powdered sugar overtop, and whisk the ingredients altogether. Let it sit for 3 minutes or so on medium heat, with no whisking, and you'll start to see it thicken. Stir the syrup every time you start to see it bubble, and after 10 minutes or so, it will be ready to pour over top of the bread. Serve hot, or cover with foil to refrigerate and keep cool for up to 3 days.