as i mentioned earlier this week when we were talking about anadama bread, i had to test that recipe a few times. i gave away a lot of decent-but-not-perfect bread to friends but somewhere in the midst of all of the baking and freezing of loaves, it occurred to me that banana molasses bread pudding would be amazing.
i actually got the idea from an anadama toast / almond butter / sliced banana / molasses drizzle snack. one bite into my toast creation, i knew i had to come up with a way to make this a Thing.
i started searching around for banana bread pudding recipes, because i figured there was a risk of making a gummy yuckmess if the custard:banana:bread ratio wasn’t right. having now baked this bread pudding recipe, i’m less concerned, because as long as we stick to normally ripened bananas, not serious banana bread contenders, and slice them, rather than mash them, they don’t team up with the custard and turn on you.
and lest *you* turn on me, i should warn you: i love molasses. if you do too, high fives! grab a spoon…
if you don’t, might i interest you in some pumpkin bread pudding? because i’m pretty sure this banana molasses bread pudding isn’t going to be your jam. molasses is just not the kind of flavor that can make it into the name of a recipe AND be overlooked while you’re eating the bread pudding, should you not care for it.
but if you love molasses, pull up a chair; you are among friends. friends with some deliciously not subtle molasses dessert for you. and just in case you weren’t sure whether this banana molasses bread pudding was going to be intense enough for you, let’s top it with molasses whipped cream, shall we? (by the way, finding things to top with molasses whipped cream has become a new passion project of mine…)
if you like molasses but fear things might be getting a little crazy here, you could always use regular whipped cream; that would offset some of the intensity of the molasses. but really, why would you want to do that?
- ¾ of a loaf of anadama bread, (about 700 g. / 24 5/8 oz.) thickly sliced, see notes
- 2 large bananas, sliced
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups milk (dairy or almond both work)
- 1/2 cup molasses (regular, unsulphured, not blackstrap)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz. / 237 ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons molasses, divided (regular, unsulphured, not blackstrap)
- preheat the oven to 350° F. butter the bottom and sides of a 9” × 13” (23 x 33 cm) pan and set aside.
- lightly toast the slices of bread (depending on the size of your toaster, it may be faster to do this in the oven). arrange the bread slices in the pan so that they are slightly overlapping (like roof shingles). tuck banana slices in between each slice of bread.
- in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, molasses, salt, and vanilla.
- pour the liquid mixture over the bread slices so that all bread and banana slices get coated, though they won’t all be submerged.
- bake for 30 - 45 minutes, until the custard is set. if the tops of the bread slices start to get too dark before the custard it set, loosely drape a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan. remove the pan from the oven. let cool a bit. serve warm (not burning hot) with a bit of molasses whipped cream.
- while the bread pudding is cooling, whip the cream and 1 tablespoon of molasses with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. use a rubber spatula to swirl in the remaining tablespoon of molasses so that there are ribbons of molasses running through the whipped cream.
if you don’t have anadama bread and don’t want to make it, grocery store italian bread is a decent substitute, in terms of texture (though obviously the flavor will be milder).
adapted from joy the baker’s banana bourbon bread pudding, which she “adapted heavily from sweets”.