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

By Brian J. KaramLarry HaydenHeidi Steele and New Orleans Palace Café
Updated March 31, 2015

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.