The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Banana Walnut Bread Pudding

KenK's picture

Banana Walnut Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of my favorite things.  Being a Southerner I am partial to bread pudding made with stale biscuits but I certainly enjoy others as well.  We had a real nice one not long ago at Ruth's Chris that I assume is made with their house bread.

Anyway, I was looking through the King Arthur catalog last night and noticed the banana flavoring and the idea for banana nut bread pudding came over me.  There is nothing new under the sun so I'm sure it has been thought of before.

Any ideas on how to proceed?

pmccool's picture

Bread pudding made with banana nut bread--now there's a concept!  Sorry not to offer something concrete.  The only thing that comes to mind is that most banana breads are moister than the yeasted breads that are typically used in bread pudding, so you may have scale back on the liquids somewhat.  How about trying one of your favorite bread pudding recipes and reducing the liquids by, I dunno, maybe 10% in volume?

Let us know how it comes out.  It sounds like a winner of an idea.


browndog's picture

Sounds awesome. Maybe a puree of two or three bananas added to the milk and eggs along with some nutmeg and a scattering of chopped walnuts?

I bet regular banana bread would work, you could dry it out some in the oven for a while if you felt it was necessary, but stale ought to be good enough. Tipsy pudding works fine.

KenK's picture

I can't decide whether to incorporate the banana into the pudding itself or to make a Bananas Foster type sauce to spoon over it.  I made my biscuit tonight and wrote "the ripest banana" on the grocery list.  : )

browndog's picture

Oh, well, the solution to that problem is clear: you'll have to  make it twice!

KenK's picture

We made this over the weekend.  In the end, we put banana and walnuts in the pudding itself and made the banana walnut topping.

It was very good but sadly it did not taste as good on the tongue as it did in my imagination.

I think the nuts and raisins are a better combination.

browndog's picture

Was it not banana-y enough? Do you think it needed banana extract or extra sweetening? I would expect bananas alone to have done it, but you certainly would want that sweet, banana-y punch.

KenK's picture

I think the main problem was simply unrealistic expectations.  I had been dreaming of it for a week and had imagined it would be the most delicious desert ever before served in the history of mankind. : )

Plus, I made red thai curry for dinner that induced a near out of body experience.  I'm still a little logy.

FieryIrie's picture

 Yesterday was my turn to go looking for bread pudding recipes. On the forums here there are, of course, always all kinds of ideas and recipes, so after seeing this topic I decided to go with a mixture of the recipes I'd read, using some of my over ripe frozen bananas. Here's what I came up with.

2 frozen bananas

about the equivelent of 1 loaf of bread, broken up into 1 inch-ish sized peices

1 quart milk

4 eggs

1 stick (1/2 c) butter

maybe 1/2-3/4 c sugar

cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice

1/2c chopped walnuts 

1/4c dark chocolate

1/4c raisins

1/4c whiskey

Before you start everything else take your 1/4c raisins and place in your 1/4c whiskey to soak. Set off to the side. You can use bourbon too, depends on what you have and what you want. 

Melt butter, coat bread chunks with sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg and bake at 400:

I started by melting about 1/3 stick butter and in a large bowl tossing/coating my bread chunks with the butter until they all had a light even coat.

Just a note, I've actually been saving my bread ends from all my loaves I've been baking so I had honey wheat chunks and roasted 4 seed and beer bread and all kinds of good stuff. 

After coating the bread with butter I coated them with sugar, both brown and regular white, until they were good and coated. Then I tossed them with about a 1/2 t of cinnamon and nutmeg each. 

Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, turning them over once or twice. Keep a good eye on them. If you forget they'll burn. You want them nice and carmelized.

Heat milk, add sugar, bananas (let cool) add spices and eggs:

While the bread's carmelizing pour your milk into a 2 quart pan and warm on meduim heat up to 120 degrees. Once this is done add sugar into it til it has a slightly oversweet taste. Probably 1/3 c. (Sorry I didn't measure!) After your milk and sugar mixture is ready if you have a food processor or blender then blend the bananas into the milk. If not just mash them in. This should cool your mixture down enough to add the eggs.

Then add 1 TBS of vanilla, 1/2 t of cinnamon, 1/2 t of allspice and 4 eggs. If your mixture's too warm it'll cook the eggs, so make sure it's room temperature or lower. Blend a little more. Taste your mixture now. It's not your last chance to change things up, but it's youre easiest chance. 

Take the bread out of the oven and let cool:

By now I imagine you've pulled your bread chunks out of the oven. When you do, take them off the baking sheet right away to cool. Depending on the thickness of your baking sheet they make keep cooking. I put mine right into the bowl they'll be soaking in. Stir em around evey minute or two to aid in the cooling. Don't be worried if some of them are real hard. You just don't want them burned. They'll soften up when soaked in the custard. 

Pour custard mixture over cooled bread chunks in large bowl and let soak:

Pour the custard over the bread until it's about an inch over the bread. The bread will be soaking it all up and you'll be adding more custard as it does. Once youv'e poured the custard mixture over the bread chunks dump in the raisins and walnut chunks. I usually just break up the walnuts with my hands. Stir around a bit, but not too much. You don't want the heavy stuff to sink to the bottom. 

Some of my bread chunks were on the bigger side so it took over an hour to soak. I made dinner between prepping the bread pudding and baking it.

Stir every so often, bringing the bottom layer to the top. When it stops being liquidy add more custard. I actually was low on milk (only had a little over 3 cups) so I was adding plain soymilk to the mixture after I ran out of custard and it was great. If you didn't add enough milk to the custard and you still have more milk, just keep adding milk til everything's soaked enough. When you're done soaking you want it to be a nice mush. Not too liquidy, but no hard chunks either.

Coat baking pans with butter (or don't) pour mixture, layering chocolate into mixture (or not) & bake!:

I forgot to coat one pan with butter and it didn't stick anymore than the other. I like chocolate more then my partner so his pan got less chocolate. I used bread pans, so they were deep. Place your pan in a larger pan that you can add water to and place in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees. Once in the oven pour about a half inch of water into the outer pan and bake! They're done when a fork stuck in the middle comes out clean. About 200 degrees in the center.

Depending on the size and depth of your pan baking times were different. Mine took an hour and 15 minutes because they were deep. If you use ramekins or a shallow baking pan your time could be as low as 30 minutes, so keep an eye on them. 

While baking make the whiskey sauce. Whiskey, butter and sugar:

Take your left over whiskey from soaking the raisins, and 1/2 a stick, about a 1/4c of butter and melt it on low heat. Once the butter is melted add in about 2 or 3 Tbs of sugar. Let it all get well combined, don't boil and set aside for topping your pudding with. 

There are other, richer, more decadent recipes out there. I had no heavy cream or eggs, but this worked out grand. Go look at other whiskey and bourbon sauce ideas if you want something more rich on your rich.

Take pudding from the oven, let cool 10 or 15 minutes, top with sauce and enjoy!!

Tadaa! Hope this is an easy to read and use recipe! Enjoy!

This was my first time making/creating this recipe and I LOOOVED the result.