You’ll see this technique with a lot of custards and cheesecakes. The culinary name for the pan of water is a bain-marie. Literally, Mary’s Bath. Nobody is quite sure how Mary got herself into this situation, but her custard seems to have set evenly and without scorching, so we’ll preserve the tribute.
You can make progressively richer bread puddings with progressively richer starting breads. I once served a panettone bread pudding with a champagne and raspberry sauce. But you could go even further and use something like red velvet cake.
Sorry, I can’t resist seeing how far we can take things.
From a box sold in Columbiaville, Michigan.
1 cup stale bread (cut into cubes)
2 cups hot milk
1 egg (slightly beaten)
4 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. butter
Few grains of nutmeg
1/2 c. washed raisins
Put bread into an oiled baking dish.
Mix the milk, egg, sugar, salt and flavoring and pour mixture over bread. Add raisins and dot top with butter.
Set dish in a pan of hot water and bake pudding at 300 deg. until firm and lightly brown.