Bread pudding is a great and frugal way to use stale bread. A couple of years ago at Christmas, one of my coworkers brought in a decadent bread pudding. Prior to that time, I’d never been too fond of bread pudding. Maybe my tastes have changed, or maybe the bread pudding I’ve had prior to this time was just not very good.
At any rate, once I had some of that delicious bread pudding, I realized that I did like bread pudding. And then I discovered Pioneer Woman has a recipe on her site for bread pudding: Bread Pudding, For Those Who Think They Don’t Like Bread Pudding. And Whiskey Cream Sauce to Boot.
I modified her version just a wee bit (I have trouble sticking to just about any recipe), and since it was during the holiday season I added fresh cranberries and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup sugar (cut down from 1 1/4 cup)
- 3 1/2 to 5 cups wheat challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (or bread of your choice, or any stale bread you have on hand)
- 1/3 cup almonds, chopped finely (or any nuts you prefer or have on hand)
- 1 handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 handful of fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together eggs, butter, vanilla, and milk. Add sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved. Arrange bread cubes tightly in a nine-inch baking dish. Pour liquid over the bread, making sure you get all of it good and soaked. Sprinkle chocolate chips and cranberries on the top. Take a spoon and smash the bread cubes down so they soak up some of the liquid. Sprinkle walnuts all over and bake for 55 to 70 minutes, or until crust is golden brown all over the top.
If there is still liquid in the center at 55 minutes, take the dish out and use a spoon to mash the bread cubes down so that the liquid seeps throughout the bread. I cooked it for another 25 minutes and then it was done.
The bread I used was a loaf of artisan wheat challah bread that’s been in the freezer for several months. I think the bread was drier, or maybe because it was wheat? I did use 5 cups of cubed bread. At any rate, when I checked it at 55 minutes, it was puffy and light. I had almonds on hand, so used those instead of the walnuts called for in PW’s recipe. This recipe could be converted from sugar to honey or maple syrup by substituting 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup for the sugar and decreasing the milk to 2 cups.
I poured some heavy cream over it. It was delicious.