In my opinion, dessert is the one food item that shouldn't be polarizing. It's DESSERT. It's the thing that you were the most excited about ALWAYS as a kid. It's the thing you bargained for and your parents bargained with, the thing that got you through that most hated vegetable (whatever your particular flavor of vegetable might happen to be). And yet, strong opinions abound. Are you a chocolate person? Are you more of a fruit person? Do you consider anything containing raisins an abomination? This is where I contradict my own opening premise. Because, raisins are the fru-its of the de-vil, raisins are little chewy, dried bits of evil. Do you happen to be a hater of bread pudding? Because apparently there are a lot of those out there as well.
I think the thing with bread pudding is that it can go right or it can go VERY WRONG in the texture department. It should never be the texture of baby food. NEVER. You should be able to clearly make out the torn (or cut) bits of bread. It should be a bit crusty on the top and the edges. You should have some degrees in softness.
It should be GOOD.
And if it avoids raisins? Hey, that's as it should be.
The above bread pudding is a modification I made to this recipe. Essentially, I followed it as written but removed the raisins (OBVIOUSLY) and subbed the zest of a tangerine, you could add more if you want it more heavily scented, and a handful of good quality chocolate chips.
For the bread I used a Pane Luciane I picked up at my local Central Market. It's a really dense bread that holds up well to the custard so you don't get any of that mushy nonsense you sometimes get served under the guise of bread pudding.
What's your take on bread pudding?