Poppy Seed Bread Pudding

This dish should stand for at least a day, and the pudding tastes even better after a few days. The traditional accompaniment is whipped cream or vanilla sauce, but I find that lemon sorbet is a good match too, because it nicely underlines the nutty flavor of the poppy seed. Poppy seed is the most flavorful when ground or crushed.

5  (4- to 5-inch) dry rolls or 18 slices dry bread
1 3/4 cups (9 ounces) {poppy seed}, preferably ground
1 quart milk
1/2 cup coarsely chopped and blanched almonds
 few drops of {almond extract}
1 teaspoon rum
1/2 cup sugar
 several pinches of {cinnamon}
1/3 cup raisins
If the rolls are still soft, slice them, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in the oven at 350 degrees until dry.

Put the poppy seed in a mixing bowl. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil and pour over the poppy seed. Combine with the almonds, almond extract, rum, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. Rinse the raisins, drain, and dry with paper towels. Add to the poppy seed mixture and combine well.

Put the bread in a large mixing bowl. Heat the remaining 2 cups milk and pour it over the bread. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Gently toss the bread to allow all parts to absorb the milk.

Spread a layer of bread in a large glass dish with a flat bottom. Alternate layers of poppy seed and bread, and repeat, ending with a layer of poppy seed. Chill for 24 hours.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 20-25 min
chill for 24 hrs

Cook Time: 10-15 min

Servings: 12

Recipe By: Nadia Hassani

From:  Spoonfuls of Germany
Used with permission of Hippocrene Books