This recipe calls for eight ounces of country white bread. Buy a rustic loaf that weighs 16 ounces; once you remove the crust you will have eight ounces. Day-old bread works well for bread puddings because it has lost moisture and, thus, absorbs more liquid.
2 tablespoons brandy
1 (7-ounce) package dried fruit bits
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
8 ounces country white bread, crusts removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine brandy and fruit bits in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand 1 hour.
Combine milk, butter, vanilla, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan, stirring frequently (do not boil). Remove from heat. Combine 2/3 cup sugar, eggs, and egg yolks in a large bowl. Pour hot milk mixture into egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 6 minutes).
Combine bread and fruit mixture in a large bowl; pour milk mixture over bread mixture. Transfer bread mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place dish in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to larger dish to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Where'e the eggnog another reviewer asked. All the ingredients for making homemade eggnog are in the recipe - milk, eggs, nutmeg, etc. This recipe does not take shortcuts with store bought eggnog. I will try this recipe using an Italian panettone instead of day old bread. You can find this traditional sweet bread in boxes almost everywhere this time of year. I've used it to make french toast and other bread puddings with great success. Thanks for a good basic recipe that can be made year round without having to look for that carton or can of eggnog!