Whether you have it around the holidays or for breakfast or for dessert this bread pudding recipe can be made for any occasion.
Homemade bread pudding is one of those comfort foods that is so easy to make. It is very versatile as well, you can prepare to be sweet or make a few adjustments and prepare it to be savory.
It is very similar to French toast but in dessert casserole form. The crispy edges on the top and the eggy moist goodness in the middle is so satisfying. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make bread pudding you need just a handful of ingredients you probably already have:
- Bread -- You can’t make bread pudding without bread! You can use any kind of bread that you want. I like to use Challah when I can find it at the store. Or you can use homemade white bread or homemade basic Italian bread if you like. You could also use dinner rolls. Some people will use stale bread because it soaks up the liquid like a sponge. I like to use fresh bread, but it is just a personal preference.
- Milk -- I like to use whole milk, but any milk will work, including almond milk.
- Butter -- I generally use unsalted butter, but salted will work as well.
- Vanilla extract -- If you are making a savory dish you can leave this out.
- White granulated sugar -- Again if you are making a savory bread pudding, you can leave this out.
- Eggs -- The other main ingredient.
Step 2: How to make bread pudding
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F/176 C. Warm up the butter in the microwave or stovetop until it melts. Do the same with the milk. It doesn’t need to be really hot, just lukewarm. Whisk together both the milk and the butter.
To finish off this custard, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and the salt and whisk those in. The warm liquid will dissolve the sugar. If you would like to make a savory version instead, leave out the sugar and vanilla extract.
If using a stovetop just combine the milk, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and heat it on medium heat until the butter melts. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. Then mix them in with the rest of the liquid to complete the custard. Make sure the liquid isn’t too hot otherwise it will cook the eggs.
Step 3: Prep the bread
Prep the bread by cutting or breaking it apart into small or large squares, whatever your preference is. I tend to make the bread chunks on the larger size, 1.5 to 2 inches. Stale bread works great to soak up the custard. But fresh bread also works.
You can leave the bread out the night before so it becomes dry and stale. Or take fresh bread and after it is cut into the chunks, place it in the oven at 250 F/120 C for about 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally to dry the bread out.
Place the bread chunks in a greased (butter or shortening) 8x11 baking pan or spray it with cooking spray. Depending on how much bread you are using, you could add an additional egg an additional 1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk. If you have a lot use a larger baking pan, 9x13.
If making a savory version, you can cut some breakfast sausage into chunks and brown them a bit in a skillet and then add those with the bread chunks.
Step 4: Bake the bread pudding
Pour the custard all over the bread chunks. Alternatively, you could take a really large bowl and add the bread chunks to that first and pour the custard in there, then stir until well coated.
Allow the mixture to rest as the bread soaks it up. And then add it to the greased baking pan. Either option works well. This method works especially well with stale bread chunks.
Bake the bread pudding for 30 to 45 minutes until the top gets golden brown. Check it after 25 minutes and if the tips of the bread are getting too brown loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Step 5: Serve up that yummy bread pudding
Once the bread pudding comes out of the oven allow it to cool before serving. For breakfast and dessert, I like to sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
How long does bread pudding last?
It will last for 3 to 4 days if stored in the fridge in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.
Can I make bread pudding without eggs?
Sure! If you don’t eat eggs, you can leave the eggs out, and use a couple tablespoons of custard powder. You may need to add an additional 1/2 cup of milk as well.
- 8x11 pan or dish
- 2 cups of milk 3 if using more bread (500 to 750mL)
- 2 Tbsp. of butter 30g
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract 5mL
- 1/3 cup of white granulated sugar 70g
- 1/8 tsp. or pinch of salt less then 1g
- 1 lb or about 6 cups of cubed bread Challah, Brioche, etc. Any bread will work
- 3 eggs 4 if using more bread
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F/176 C. Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stovetop until it is very warm, not super hot. Melt the butter as well and whisk those two together. You can just warm them both on the stovetop too.
- Add in the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. If you are making it a savory dish, leave out the sugar and vanilla extract.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes. In the meantime, grease an 8x11 or 9x13 inch pan with butter or shortening, or spray it with cooking spray.Cut up your bread into chunks that are 1 to 2 inches in size. If you like the chunks big make them big. 1 to 1.5 inches is perfect.
- Add the bread chunks/cubes to the baking dish. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then combine them with the other warm liquid after it has cooled a bit. If the liquid is too hot it will cook the eggs. This is the custard base.
- Pour the custard all over the bread in the baking dish. Alternatively, add the bread to a large bowl and pour the liquid over it there, and stir it all together so it gets coated evenly. Either way works.
- Bake the bread pudding for 30 to 45 minutes until the top is nice and golden brown. Check it after 25 minutes if the tips of the bread are getting too brown loosely cover the bread pudding with aluminum foil and continue baking.
- Once out of the oven allow it to cool before serving. Top it with powdered sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream, fresh fruit, ice cream, etc. Enjoy!
- If you would like to make this savory you can also add browned sausage with the bread.
- Some people like to top their sweet bread pudding with raisins as well when baking it.
- Stale bread works really well for this because the dry bread soaks up the custard, like a sponge. But some people prefer using fresh bread. It is up to you!
Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.
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