Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I love bread pudding, but I rarely make desserts that need to be served warm -- I can never get the timing right when we host guests for meals in our home. I don't think I've ever had a pumpkin bread pudding, however, and I was looking forward to this week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

The bread pudding includes both a pumpkin bread and a pumpkin custard. The quickbread is very easy to make. You mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ground ginger) in one bowl, and then combine all of the remaining ingredients (pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, water, chocolate chunks) in another. (The cookbook includes a recipe for preparing your own pumpkin puree, but I used Libby's canned puree. There's no way I would have gone to the trouble of making my own, even if it wasn't too early in the season to be able to purchase pumpkins.) You fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and pour the batter into a loaf pan.

According the recipe, you should bake the loaf between 65-85 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I started checking my bread at 65 minutes, and at the 95-minute mark, I thought that the bread was done. After the loaf was fully cooled and I cut into it, I was disheartened to see that the bottom third of the loaf was not fully cooked. It was holding its shape, but it was very wet. I decided to make a half-sized pan of bread pudding so that I could avoid using the undercooked portion of the loaf. And even though the entire loaf wasn't cooked through, I thought the bread was tasty -- I liked the warm mix of spices, although I didn't love the chocolate.
To prepare the pudding, I cut the top half of the pumpkin bread loaf into cubes and toasted them in the oven. Then I soaked the bread in a mixture of egg, egg yolks, dark brown sugar, half and half, pumpkin puree, melted butter, salt, cloves, cayenne, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla. After half an hour, I poured the custard and soaked bread into a buttered Pyrex pan; I didn't use all of the custard, because there was so much of it and I didn't want to completely submerge the bread. I topped the pudding with some extra toasted bread cubes tossed with melted butter and put the bread pudding in the oven to bake.

I baked the bread pudding until the custard was set and cooled it for 30 minutes before cutting into it. I did not like this bread pudding at all. I might have undercooked it, but the custard was not totally firm, and the bread was mealy. I also did not like the sharpness of the cayenne. The chocolate was slightly clunky and I wished that the bread included raisins or dried cranberries instead. This bread pudding just didn't do anything for me.

Recipe: "Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Elements, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings


Candy said…
Sorry you didn't like the pudding! I thought that both the bread and the pudding would be better split into two dishes or at least a larger one so that they wouldn't be as thick and would quick more quickly and consistently.
Anonymous said…
Sorry to hear that you didn't like this one. :( I disliked it after one bite and initially wrote it off, but I gave it another chance on Day 3, and it was completely different... and delicious-- the flavors really changed. Hopefully our last two pumpkin recipes will work out better!
Anonymous said…
Wow! I'm so sorry this was a miss for you. I totally LOVED it! I'd try it again sometime... maybe add some dried cranberries - change it up a little! You may like it better!
I love bread puddings too. I did enjoy this bread, more than the pudding. I agree that raisins would be good and maybe some rum! :)
Unknown said…
I didn't make this recipe (it's way too early to eat pumpkin in my opinion!), but I'm really happy to hear your honest opinions about the recipe. I was really looking forward to trying this one out, but I think I might make some alterations as per your suggestions so that it'll be stellar!