Almond Vanilla Rice Pudding

1/2 cup Arborio rice
4 cups milk (both whole and reduced-fat have worked for me)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split (or 1 teaspoon pure extract, added with almond at the end)
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon almond extract


In a large saucepan, place all the ingredients, except the almond extract. Bring it to a gentle boil and then turn it down to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom, for about 30 to 40 minutes. Taste the rice to check for doneness. The rice should be very soft and plump.

Take the pudding off the heat and stir in the extract(s). Pour into dessert bowls. You can serve it immediately or let it chill in the fridge.
from Smitten Kitchen.