Grandma used leftovers; today's bakers have deliciously different ideas

When pastry chefs prepare American favorites, they tend to stray from tradition, replacing authentic with au courant. These new versions of bread pudding, for instance, made with fashionable breads and flavors, are more about playful innovation than using up leftovers. But in the hands of top bakers, ingredients like brioche, white chocolate and star anise make an old standard even more delectable.

    By Brian J. KaramLarry HaydenHeidi Steele and New Orleans Palace Café