We love egg-based challah (or brioche) for its golden color and rich texture, but you can use Italian or white sandwich bread instead. Bakery bread that's a day or two old (or sandwich bread that's gone slightly stale) also works well for bread-pudding -- it may need to soak a little longer to absorb the liquid.
This bread pudding is a delicious (and beautiful) way to use a week-old loaf. The crowning glory is the sweet-tart cranberry-and-maple compote.
Recipe and image reprinted with permission from "Tartine Bread," by Chad Robertson, with photographs by Eric Wolfinger.
Plum pudding can be made anywhere from a few weeks to a year in advance and allowed to ripen in a cool place. It must be steamed 2 hours before serving. Leave it in hot water until ready to serve with hard sauce. This recipe is from "Entertaining," by Martha Stewart.
Although this dish is a great way to use up old bread, it can also be made with fresh bread. Serve it with a scoop of mango ice cream.
From the book "Lucinda's Authentic Jamaican Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).