LSK emailed me in search of an easy bread pudding recipe. To my mind, making the bread is the hardest part. But, kidding aside, if you already have stale bread, you’re half way there. Challah makes the sweetest bread pudding. (To my Kismet housemates: “Challah!”) You can also use gluten-free bread.
For this, I used a 4-quart baking dish. You could also use an 8″ round or 8″x8″ baking pan.
Here are the basics:
6-8 pieces of stale, dried out bread, cubed (how much bread will depend on the type of bread and the size of your pan)
6 large eggs yolks, beaten
3 large egg whites, beaten lightly
1 1/2 c whole milk
1/2 c half & half
1/2 t kosher salt
Add one or two of the following:
1 t extract of vanilla, almond, lemon, orange
1 t maple syrup
1/2 c diced dried fruit (raisins, currants, cranberries, pear, apricot, pineapple, mango, kiwi, cherry)
1/2 c crystalized ginger, chopped
1/2 c chocolate or butterscotch chips
1/4 t ground cardamom, star anise, mace, anise seed, cloves or nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin spice or apple pie spice
1/2 t zest of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit
1/4 t dried peppermint
1/2 c chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts)
4 T dark rum
2 T burbon
Place one oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Assemble all your ingredients. Combine beaten eggs, milk and half & half in a mixing bowl. Fold in the cubed bread. Add your sweet ingredients. Mix well. Coat your baking dish with butter or spray. Gently pour the ingredients into the casserole dish. Let stand 30 minutes so the liquid soaks through the bread. You can gently push the bread down into the liquid to help it soak through.
Bake 40-50 minutes until center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. If you are going to reheat, cut while still warm.
I know the options may seem overwhelming but here are some of my favorite combos:
crystalized ginger and rum
peppermint and chocolate chips
dried pineapple and ground clove
cardamom and orange zest
butterscotch chips and burbon
dried cranberries and pumpkin pie spice
Let me know which options you choose!