|Main ingredients||Usually stale bread; combination of milk, eggs, suet, sugar or syrup, dried fruit, and spices|
|Variations||Nelson cake, Wet Nelly|
Bread pudding is a bread-based dessert popular in many countries' cuisines, made with stale bread and milk or cream, generally containing eggs, a form of fat such as oil, butter or suet, and depending on whether the pudding is sweet or savory, a variety of other ingredients. Sweet bread puddings may use sugar, syrup, honey, dried fruit, nuts, as well as spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, or vanilla. The bread is soaked in the liquids, mixed with the other ingredients, and baked.
Savory puddings may be served as main courses, while sweet puddings are typically eaten as desserts.
In other languages, its name is a translation of "bread pudding" or even just "pudding", for example "pudín" or "budín". In the Philippines, banana bread pudding is popular. In Mexico, there is a similar dish eaten during Lent called capirotada. In the United Kingdom, a moist version of Nelson cake, itself a bread pudding, is nicknamed "Wet Nelly".
The 18th-century English cookbook The Compleat Housewife contains two recipes for baked bread pudding. The first is identified as "A Bread and Butter Pudding for Fasting Days". To make the pudding a baking dish is lined with puff pastry, and slices of penny loaf with butter, raisins and currants, and pieces of butter are added in alternating layers. Over this is poured thickened, spiced cream and orange blossom water, and the dish is baked in the oven. There is another version of the dish that is simpler, omitting the spices and dried fruits.
In the United States, especially Louisiana, bread puddings are typically sweet and served as dessert with a sweet sauce of some sort, such as whiskey sauce, rum sauce, or caramel sauce, but typically sprinkled with sugar and eaten warm in squares or slices. Sometimes, bread pudding is served warm topped with or alongside a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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