October 27, 2021
If you’re new to baking, you may have come to this tutorial asking yourself, “What is bread pudding?” Is it bread, or pudding, or both?
Bread pudding is a gelatinous dessert made from sugar and spice and everything nice—one part French toast, one part vanilla custard. Plus, this recipe is sustainable. Instead of throwing out day-old bread that’s too dry to use for a sandwich, you can turn it into a rich, creamy dessert. Think of it like, “When life gives you tough bread, make bread pudding.”
Bread pudding ingredients are everyday staples, like vanilla and milk, that you likely already have on hand. What makes this dessert delicious is its simplicity (and, of course, the fact that it contains so much butter and bread). Even if this is your first time hearing of bread pudding, let alone making it, there’s no way you’ll regret transforming leftover stale bread into this comforting dessert.
How to make pudding with bread
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes
For the bread pudding:
- 6 cups stale (yes, stale) bread, cubed
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
For the bread pudding vanilla sauce:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. You can do this by taking a bit of butter or oil onto a paper towel and spreading it over the entire surface of the dish.
- Spread the chunks of bread in a layer in the bottom of the dish and set aside.
- Whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes in the baking pan, making sure to soak all of the bread.
- Let the bread soften in the liquid for 20-25 minutes and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the pudding in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. You’ll know it’s cooked when the center has risen fully and the consistency is gelatinous and jiggly. Leave the pudding in the oven a few minutes longer if it doesn’t meet these requirements.
- While the pudding is in the oven, make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium pot on the stove over low heat. Once the butter melts, stir in the sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Continue cooking on low heat until thickened. You can check for doneness by inserting a spoon into the sauce; if the spoon retains the liquid when you pull it out, the sauce is thick enough and you can remove it from the stove.
- Take the bread pudding out of the oven, and let cool.
- Serve a dollop of the warm bread pudding and drizzle some of the sauce over it.
Recipe adapted from Live, Love, and Sugar.
Nutritional values per serving
Fat: 20.7 grams
Cholesterol: 104.5 milligrams
Sodium: 577.9 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 100 grams
Sugars: 52.3 grams
Protein: 13.9 grams
Creative mix-ins and toppings
- Dried fruit (like cranberries)
- A hint of bourbon
- Chocolate chips
- Slivered almonds
- A touch of brown sugar
- Caramel sauce
- Fresh raspberries
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla ice cream
The variations on bread pudding are endless. There are tutorials on how to use practically every kind of leftover bread (including donuts) as your base, and others to add in all sorts of fruits or salty elements for creative takes on this dish, so start exploring.
- Banana bread pudding
- Savory bread pudding made with meats, cheeses, and vegetables (read more below)
- Donut bread pudding
- Croissant bread pudding
- Bread pudding muffins
- Pumpkin bread pudding
Bread Pudding FAQs
How to store and reheat bread pudding
Let the bread pudding cool to room temperature and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Warm in the microwave for less than a minute, until heated through. Warm some of the bread pudding sauce and drizzle over the top.
Wondering how long to bake bread pudding?
Bread pudding takes roughly 50-55 minutes to make. However, trust your instincts. If the pudding seems too liquidy or the center hasn’t risen fully, you should leave the dessert in the oven for a few more minutes to firm things up.
What’s the best bread for bread pudding?
Bakers claim that bread pudding with French bread, challah, or brioche is best. They argue that because these breads have good stand-alone texture and flavor, these factors will add to the quality of the pudding you make with them. That said, most breads, including white bread, are fit for this recipe. After all, this recipe is a way to use up an ingredient you already have on hand before it’s too stale to eat. The only breads we’d recommend staying away from are flat varieties, like naan or pita bread.
Is bread pudding always sweet?
Not necessarily. The dessert version of this casserole intends to be a sweet and comforting treat, but there are a wealth of savory options as well. If you’re figuring out what to make for dinner tonight, you can also turn leftover bread into a main dish that’s cheesy or add a meat of your choice. You can also try loading it with greens and other veggies.
So, you have stale bread and now you want to make it into pudding, but you’re all out of milk? No problem. You can order everything you need from Gopuff in seconds and have it at your door in a matter of minutes.