As with last edition's fried green tomatoes, my foray into bread pudding came as a continuation of my attempt to make use of the food items I acquired after Rosh Hashanah. In addition to the green tomatoes and herbs, I inherited a bike-helmet-sized loaf of challah bread. While I was able to make pretty good progress of the loaf in the first week, it soon became clear that consuming this entire loaf single-handedly was beyond my 5 foot 2 capacity. I had considered freezing it as well, but at its current size it would still take up a significant portion of the freezer and I was loathe to further encroach on my roommates' territory.
While I did not intend to make this a vegan dish, I discovered most bread pudding recipes required 3-5 eggs and I was hesitant to use so many on an experimental dish while I still had another two weeks before my next planned grocery store trip. I finally found a recipe for Easy Vegan Bread Pudding that contained all ingredients that seemed familiar to me. But because I still had suspicions about the dish's ability to hold its form and thickness without eggs as a binder, I also found a recipe that used tofu as well. In the end, I ended up using more of the first recipe, while simply blending the soymilk with a bit of tofu. Unfortunately, I didn't pay close attention to the tofu-to-soymilk ratio, resulting in a mixture that was perhaps slightly more mushy than expected and I'm not sure how much of a difference the tofu made in the end.
Pudding Without Topping
For the topping, I took inspiration from the Tofu Sabayon Sauce recipe in John B. Nowakowski's Vegetarian Magic, eliminating the saffron/tumeric and using agave instead of brown rice or maple syrup. And while I have had a rocky relationship with tofu in the past, tonight I found it a quick and easy way to create a thick, creamy sauce without the boiling or whipping involved when dealing with heavy cream or egg whites (though I still find it has a bit of an aftertaste that leaves something to be desired in terms of flavor). While the sauce tasted perfectly luscious drizzled over the entire just-baked pudding, in retrospect I would probably leave it on the side for the sake of keeping the pudding from being too mushy.
Pudding with Topping
And so, without further ado, your recipe for instant fall comfort.
Vegan Bread Pudding
4 cups of day-old bread
2 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup of silken tofu
3/4 cup sugar
1 banana, slicec
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinammon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put bread into greased (not sure if greasing is necessary, but I'm paranoid about these things) 9x9-inch baking pan.
In some sort of blending appliance, blend tofu and soymilk. Combine the soymilk-tofu rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the bread. Stir to mix.
Bake pudding for 30-45 minutes, or until the mixture begins to hold its form.
While the pudding bakes, make the tofu vanilla cream sauce.
Tofu Vanilla Cream Sauce
One 12.3-ounce box of silken tofu
3/4 cup soymilk, almond milk, or rice milk
1/2 cup of brown rice syrup, maple syrup, or agave
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
After draining the tofu, place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve on top of individual slices of pudding.