When good yeast goes bad, it’s time for dessert!
In baking the primary function of yeast is to make dough rise. By partially consuming the sugars in the flour the natural metabolism of these microorganisms produces carbon dioxide and ethanol that cause an increase in volume during baking. Yet yeast can get old. If it is exposed to air or humidity, it may not function correctly. Even a bread machine cannot produce a light, fluffy loaf if the yeast has “gone bad.”
But the loaf is still edible, if somewhat “heavy” or “dense.” It might be a bit misshapen, but it generally tastes good. So what can someone do with a lumpy loaf?
Bread puddings are a great way to transform the unfortunate loaf into a delicious dessert. Add some chocolate and fruit and suddenly the lumpy loaf is the star of the meal!
Note: This can also be prepared with a regular loaf of bread, but it won’t provide as much humor.
- 1 Loaf of Bread (about 10 ounces) cut or torn into 1-inch cubes
- 5 Large Eggs
- ¾ Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
- 3 Cups Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ Cups Dried Fruit (My family loves blueberries or cherries.)
- 9 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
- Butter (to coat the baking dish)
- 1 Large Bowl
- Knife (optional)
- Large Spoon
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoon
- A 13 x 9 Inch Baking Dish
Mix the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in the large bowl. Add handfuls of the bread cubes, fruit, and chocolate chips in alternating layers, stirring with each addition.
Now it’s time to get busy. Roll up your sleeves and mix everything together. You want to get some of that flavorful liquid onto every scrap of bread. The mix may seem a little dry. Resist the urge to drown it in more milk or you will end up with a soggy dessert.
Coat your pan with butter. Press the mixture into the pan. If you like a dense, heavy bread pudding, keep pressing until there is no air left. If you prefer yours fluffier, just pile it in and spread it around.
Either way, bake it uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. The top will become a wonderful crunchy brown while the middle stays moist.
It’s easy to pick away at the entire dish—whether you are going after a piece of the crusty top, a chewy berry, or a melting chunk of chocolate.
After you enjoy your snack, why not read a good book?