Depression Bread Pudding
I want to preface this recipe by saying that I’ve found bread pudding tends to be rather polarizing – folks either love it or hate it. That having been said, if you are not a bread pudding fan, you will not be thrilled with this recipe. If you are a bread pudding fan, I am your new best friend.
This is one of those classic “make do” recipes. At some point, there was this lady who was trying to make ends meet and needed to use up some leftover bread buns in addition to feeding her family. She whipped this up and a classic was born. I also call this “depression food” as it was just the type of dish which was born out of the necessity of hard times.
There are tons of bread pudding recipes out there. Some use fancy breads with names I can’t pronounce, some use leftover buttermilk biscuits. Regardless of the ingredients, I always love the outcome of any bread pudding.
I particularly like this recipe because I find myself with leftover buns from time to time and hate for them to go to waste. I have a rule, food never goes to waste if I can help it. This is well known throughout my family and sometimes has comical results.
My brother is a caterer (and national grand champion winner at the Jack Daniels BBQ Cookoff) and not too long ago he had purchased hamburger buns for a BBQ for three hundred. When he arrived, someone had actually donated the buns so all he had purchased were not used. “Do you want some hamburger buns?” Sure! I was greeted with four Wal mart sacks full of hamburger buns. We had some hamburgers, of course, and bread pudding as well, but there were still so many left and I was determined not to let them waste. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am actually among the first generation in the history of my family to have never gone hungry – making use of the food we have is in our blood.
So I decided to make French toast. I made my batter of eggs, milk, and cinnamon and dipped the buns in them before frying to a nice golden brown. I then flash froze them on cookie sheets before plopping them into gallon Ziploc freezer bags. Two cycles in the toaster and we had fresh French toast anytime! I was so thrilled with my discovery that I made about eight packages worth of frozen French toast (that’s sixteen pieces per package). I then called everyone bragging over my thriftiness and creativity. The next day when I got home from an errand – four more wal mart sacks of hamburger buns were hanging on my door.
Needless to say, we still have plenty of french toast.
I should also note that this recipe came from a church cookbook. Now if you aren’t from the south, let me interpret that for you. “Came from a church cookbook” automatically gives a recipe at the very least a four star rating on account of no one would serve bad food in a church – that would surely be an unforgivable sin in the bible belt.
Alrighty so here we go! Please note, I made a half recipe so what you are seeing is half of the recipe at the bottom of the page! We need two eggs, melted butter, two hamburger buns – split, cinnamon, sugar, and milk. Exact recipe is at the bottom of this page.
Pour over hamburger buns, pressing down to make sure they get saturated.