Friday, August 16, 2013

Anna Sultana's Pudina tal-Hobz - Bread Pudding, Maltese Style

Most of our meals were finished off with fresh fruit.
There were some traditional treats for the holidays.
And Maltese pastries on Sundays.

But then there was Pudina tal-Ħobż...
We had quite a bit of Pudina when Lily Tulip left College Point. 
Pop was out of work.
Every week he'd bring home a few bags of day-old bread.
Ma would turn them into Pudina tal-Ħobż
Well, we never went hungry.

Pudina tal-Ħobż is the Maltese take on bread pudding.
And, no, it is nothing like the North American bread pudding.

It is NOT buttery bread covered with creamy custard. 
Not smooth comfort food eaten with a spoon. Nope.
Ma may have called it a pudding but Pudina tal-Ħobż was more like a cake. 

                        Pudina tal-Ħobż

Preheat oven to 350º
Grease a 9 x 13" pan

Cut into large chunks
about 2 pounds bread, any kind
Place them in a bowl, and cover with water.
Let sit an hour.
Drain the water and squeeze the bread until it stops dripping.

In another large bowl combine
1/4 Cup margarine, melted (or 3 ounces oil)
1/2 Cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 Cup chopped mixed peel
grated rind of an orange
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup sultanas
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 Cups milk

Add the squeezed dry bread.
Stir until everything is well combined.
Turn into the prepared pan.
Bake 40 minutes.
Check if the pudding is done by inserting a skewer in the centre.
If the pudding is done, the skewer should come out clean.

Ah, Pudina... 
Like I said about Ma's Timpana, Maltese go beyond simple into downright retarded when it comes to starches. 

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