Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding x2

What better to follow a post on homemade bread than a recipe for the very best use of day-old bread—bread pudding.  For this recipe alone I recommend that you make more bread than you need (but there there are also croutons, panzanella, bread crumbs, etc., if bread pudding isn’t enough to convince you).  Since it can be unpredictable how much leftover bread you may have or how many servings you want to make, I’m giving a recipe which you can adapt to your needs.

For every ~2 cups of bread cubes (or torn pieces):

  • 1 cup milk (preferably whole)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, more for greasing
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (depending on your taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg

Possible extras:

  • Vanilla or other extracts
  • Dried fruit (raisins are traditional)
  • Chopped nuts
  • Candy sauce like fudge or caramel

Preheat oven to 350° and grease baking dish(es) (brownie pan, souffle, pie tin, small ramekins, large muffin tins, etc.).  In a small saucepan on the stove or a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave combine milk, butter, cinnamon, sugar, and salt and heat just until the butter melts.  If baking in a single dish, add the bread to the dish and pour the milk mixture over the bread to soak for a few minutes, gently stirring occasionally to ensure all of the bread soaks well.  For ramekins, do this in a separate bowl.  Whisk the egg(s) with any extracts you are using and then stir in with the bread (if the milk mixture seems too hot you can first temper the eggs with a few spoonfuls of the milk).  This is the time to add any fruit or nuts.  Portion into ramekins if using and then put in the oven for ~30 (individual ramekins) to ~60 minutes.  You know it’s done when a thin-bladed knife inserted into the center comes out (mostly) clean.  Serve hot, warm, or cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and topped with your favorite sauce.