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Capirotada(Mexican Bread Pudding)

This recipe for capirotada was adapted from the capirotada that I enjoyed when I worked at La Poblano in Houston, Texas!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 44 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 4 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Zest from 1 large orange
  • 1 cup piloncillo or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 3 ounces butter plus more for greasing
  • 15 to 20 slices of Mexican bolillos or French bread let dry out overnight
  • 1/3 cup pecans chopped, optional
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds chopped, optional
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts more traditional
  • 8 ounces monterey jack shredded, not traditional
  • 6 ounces panela or cotija cheese crumbled, more traditional

Instructions

Directions:

  • The night before, slice the bolillos into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch slices and let sit out overnight.
  •  Next day, preheat oven to 375º F. Generously grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter. Set aside.
  • Heat the water, orange juice, zest, Pikoncillo(sugar), cloves, cinnamon sticks, and anise in a pot over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add raisins and let simmer for 5 minutes without stirring.
  • Spread the butter onto both sides of each slice of bread and arrange on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn over and bake the other side for 5 minutes.
  • Line the base of the ovenproof dish with half the toast. Sprinkle over half of the cheese(both kinds) and nuts. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks and cloves from piloncillo syrup. Spoon 1/2 of raisin mix over toast. Repeat another layer, bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Notes

If you would like a more moist bread pudding, I would suggest doubling the syrup recipe. It's best to have extra just in case there is more bread. If you like to thicken it, just cook it at medium low until it thickens. 
It is more traditional to fry the day old bread in pork lard until golden brown.