Pudding is so easy to make – the key ingredient is corn starch, which causes it to thicken. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that you need pudding mix, not the pudding itself. We can come up with any number of recipes for pudding, but nothing specific for a pudding mix. Nonetheless, we’ll soldier on.

The 5.1-ounce box of vanilla pudding called for in your recipe makes 3 cups of pudding. The ingredients for the boxed pudding mix are: sugar, dextrose, cornstarch, modified cornstarch; contains less than 2% of: natural and artificial flavor, salt, calcium carrageenan (thickener), Polysorbate 60 (prevents scorching), Yellow 5, and Yellow 6. You turn that into 3 cups of pudding by adding 3 cups of milk, stirring, and cooking until thick.

Clearly 90 percent of the mix, or more, is found in the sugars and starches. Since they appear in such small quantity, we’ll ignore the carageenan, the scorch prevention, and the coloring. The salt is important and the vanilla flavor is clearly buried somewhere in those natural and artificial flavors.

The pudding recipes we have found that make about three cups of pudding call for 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. You’ll have to fit some vanilla in somehow (1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons) – with the bread’s wet ingredients, perhaps.

Beyond that, the pudding recipes call for an average of 3 cups of milk, 2 eggs, and a tablespoon of butter, but those are the ingredients you’ll leave out of your bread recipe. Your homemade mix and the boxed mix would both be less rich than the puddings you could make at home, since they omit the eggs and butter.

So with a bit of sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla you should be able to recreate a serviceable pudding mix for your bread recipe. In case you ever get the urge to make vanilla pudding from scratch, here’s a recipe: Vanilla Pudding.