Stop for a second. Think back to when you were a child, to the controlled frenetic pace of pre dinner party preps. Imagine the busy surfaces, the noise of spoons clunking against multiple pans, the mellow allure of bubbling basmati. In most of my dinner party memories there is this one slightly intoxicating scent. As a child I could not have told you it is the indubitably luxurious scent of Kheer cooking down, this Bread Kheer to be precise. I would smell the smell and shortly after my mother would be standing there blending away, preoccupied determination written all over her face. She would always tell me she makes this Bread Kheer both because people love it and because it is so easy.
Confession: As I child I never ate it. I was more of a cookies and brownies kind of girl. I made an exception for Sevaiyan, Kulfi, and my delightful Nonni’s Shahi Tukray. Since then I have changed my mind about this and many other desi desserts one hundred times over.
Thankfully my older daughter is nothing like me in this regard and enjoys a really good kheer. She will also find a way to tell you if it wasn’t very good and needs only the slightest prodding to politely explain why. The price you pay for raising a little foodie 🙂
Better than it’s Name
Bread Kheer seems like such a bland name doesn’t it. So devoid off personality, but this Kheer is far from it. The recipe incorporates tips I learnt from my aunt and mixes it up by adding the unusual choice of tea rusks and croissants. The croissants add buttery depth, the tea rusks a mild pleasantly wheaty note. Can you make this with all bread instead? Absolutely.
Also I call it Bread Kheer here, but in my head (and heart) it is forever “Double Roti ki Kheer”. Double Roti is the name given to sliced bread in Urdu, perhaps because it is thicker than the flatbread it is compared to.
Tips for Making Any Kheer Well
No matter what kind of Kheer you are making – the traditional rice one, this bread one or any of the many varieties out there you absolutely MUST pay attention to how you cook the milk. Here is what you have to remember
- Heavy bottomed pots (steel, enamel, etc.) are best for cooking milk down. If you use something lighter like a non stick you must be extra vigilant to ensure that the milk cooks down without sticking to the bottom.
- Keep the temperature slow and steady. Once you bring your milk to a boil simmer on the lowest setting you can maintain a healthy simmer at. This will allow the mik to cook down without burning.
- Remember where your milk was when you first poured it in and make sure you reduce it to the right amount. Most of the richness of kheer is in that reduction.
Why Make Bread Kheer
Because it turns out my mother was right. It is easy and delicious. Rice Kheer usually requires slow cooking of the rice in milk and quite a bit of stirring (I do have a great hack here). Bread kheer is far less finicky and takes a fraction of the time. It also looks rather lovely if I do say so myself.
Made the bread kheer? Please rate the recipe below? Need help with something? leave a comment or DM on instagram @flourandspiceblog – as always I would LOVE to see your recreations!
An easy kheer made with pantry ingredients!
- 1 litre Milk (Whole)
- 1 litre Half and half (can substitute with 1/2 litre milk and 1/2 litre cream or whatever combination you have handy. all milk works too, it will just take longer to cook down and be lighter tasting)
- 3 Plain Croissants
- 5 Tea Rusks (Papay) not cake rusks
- 6 cardamoms seeds removed and lightly crushed OR 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup minced pistachios
- ¼ cup minced blanched almonds
Heat milk and half and half in a large heavy-bottomed pot on the stove (not nonstick)
Bring the mixture to a boil, tear the croissants and rusks into pieces and add them in
Simmer until both breads are soft, about 5-6 minutes.
Puree with a handheld (immersion) blender or in a regular blender.
Pour back in the pot (if using a regular blender). Add the cardamom, saffron, sugar and half the nuts
Simmer on low heat, stirring frequently, the mixture will darken and thicken. As it becomes thick it starts to bubble, so please do be careful!
TIP: Leave a wooden spoon in the pot to prevent any bubbling over
Cook it down by about 40 percent (nearly half) of what it was –this takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the pot you are using.
Put in your serving dishes/glasses, let cool, and scatter with the remaining nuts right before serving.
When the milk is initially cooking down it will require less stirring as long as the temperature is right, as it thickens you will need to keep a more watchful eye to avoid burnt bits! If your milk does start to burn and stick DO NOT scrape the burnt bits off the bottom. Transfer to another pot and leave the burnt bits behind.
Cleaning tip: if your milk does burn then sprinkle baking soda over the bottom of the burnt pot, let it sit for a few minutes, then bring to a boil with a few cups of hot water. This will make cleaning MUCH easier!
For regular bread start with 1/2 of a loaf of bread, white preferred.