How To Prevent A Horribly Runny Bread Pudding

From cinnamon roll bread pudding to rich bread pudding, we're big fans of the dish, which consists of dried bread mixed with custard that is then baked. So, suffice to say, we understand the importance of getting your bread pudding just right. One major problem that you may have come across is bread pudding that is just too wet. A good bread pudding needs to be moist with a custardy-like texture, but it should not be anywhere close to runny.

Luckily for you, we have a few tips and tricks to share in order to make sure your bread pudding turns out moist and delicious, not wet and runny. These tips include warming the liquid you put into the mix, covering it at the right time in the oven, and making sure you cook it for the right amount of time.

Be thorough and precise with the wet ingredients

When you think about it, the amount of liquid that needs to be added to bread pudding definitely puts it at risk of becoming too wet. This is why it's important to handle the wet ingredients in the correct way. Firstly, just about every bread pudding recipe calls for milk, but what the recipe may not tell you is that it's helpful to warm up the milk before adding it into the mixture. This way, when you pour the liquid over the bread, it's not cold and it will be soaked up by the bread more easily.

Speaking of soaking up the bread, you need to make sure that all of the bread gets soaked up by the custard. For this, you can pour the custard over the bread in a mixing bowl, then gently mix together the bread and the custard (without over-mixing, which will ruin the batter) before transferring it to the pan. It's also important to let the combined mixture (bread and custard) sit for about 20 to 25 minutes to ensure the custard is thoroughly soaked up by the bread.

Only cover the bread pudding in oven for some of the time

To be sure that you get the bread pudding to just the right consistency, here's another trick: Cover the bread pudding with aluminum foil for about half the time. With this method, the aluminum foil will keep the top of the bread pudding from getting crispy too soon, which would cause you to have to take it before the cooking time is up. If you take it out too soon, you'll be left with a mushy and wet middle that hasn't been given the time it needs in the oven to set, but with a super crispy top — not ideal, to say the least.  

After the bread pudding has been in the oven for about 25 minutes with aluminum foil over the top, take it out and remove the foil. Then, put it back in the oven for the remainder of the baking time. During the second half, while it's uncovered, the top will crisp up while the middle finishes baking thoroughly. 

Temperature is key

Besides knowing how long to keep the bread pudding covered, there are a few other details about its time in the oven that you should keep in mind. Firstly, it's important to make sure that your oven is at the right temperature — and, specifically, not too hot as this can lead to the top crisping up too soon — similar to if you leave it uncovered for the whole baking time. The ideal temperature to set the oven for bread pudding is between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, to avoid overcooking it, it's important to know when it's done. To check the inside to see if all the liquid has been absorbed, insert a knife into the middle of the pudding and create a small hole by pushing the bread to the side: If liquid begins oozing into the hole, it's not yet ready. If there's no liquid oozing, it's good to go.