Oven-baked vs Instant Pot Bread Pudding
Ok, I’ll admit it, I’ve been on the Instant Pot bandwagon for years now. It’s a cookware staple in my house and I rely on it heavily to do a lot of daily cooking. Technically, it has only replaced my pressure cooker but I find myself reaching for it even when a pressure cooking is not required.
I’ve been using it for 3 years now and find it quite convenient. Recently, I’ve been attempting to use it for steaming, slow cooking and baking. So this one day, I had left-over baguette begging to be turned into bread-pudding but something or the other came up and before I knew it, the baguette had turned to stone. It was a beautiful log of bread and I hated to throw it out. I figured I’d try one last ditch attempt to save it. Better yet, I decided to run an oven vs. Instant Pot experiment for bread pudding.
I divided up my baguette into two (I could’ve used an axe! but I persevered with a serrated knife). I used one part for my instant pot bread pudding and the other part for oven-baked bread pudding. For the oven baked bread pudding, I soaked the cubed bread pieces in the custard mixture overnight. I figured the bread could do with some moistening before getting dehydrated in the convection oven. I cooked the Instant Pot bread pudding without soaking the bread, the low pressure from the cooker does a pretty good job of hydrating the bread.
My verdict – they’re both ridiculously good. Seriously, incredibly good. The oven-baked version had a slightly crispy top with a soft, pillowy center, the Instant Pot version was soft, melted and gooey all over with a surprising depth of flavor that rivaled some of the best bread pudding I’ve ever had.
Moral of the story – never throw out stale bread. You can substitute this recipe for any type of bread, dry cake, Challah or Babka.