Made from bread soaked in creamy vanilla custard mixture, this classic bread pudding is perfect for breakfast or brunch. It’s wonderfully sweet with a touch of cinnamon and comes together with just a few ingredients you probably have in your kitchen.
No matter if you call it bread pudding or baked French toast in a pan, it’s still an amazingly delicious recipe to serve for breakfast or lunch. Or as a dessert. It’s easy to whip up and a good way to use up your old-day bread. You will need a few minutes to prepare and most of the time comes from baking.
WHAT IS BREAD PUDDING?
Bread pudding is a dessert that uses old, stale bread baked together with a creamy custard made from eggs, sugar, butter, either cream or milk. This recipe uses both heavy cream and milk with a touch of spice like cinnamon to add richness and flavor to the dessert. You know it’ll be good when you see the edges turn light brown and crispy while the middle is still soft.
You can use any type of bread you have in your kitchen. The longer it sits, the drier it’ll be and the perfect ingredient for this recipe. I use my old-day stale slices of white bread since I don’t want to throw them away (such a waste of food 🙂 ) but other good options are French or brioche bread. You just cut your day-old stale bread into 1-inch cubes and place them in an even layer into a cast iron skillet or any baking dish. Make sure to lightly grease the pan before adding the bread.
VANILLA CUSTARD MIXTURE
To make custard mixture, you’ll simply whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and some spices until combined. You may wonder that the liquid, in this case milk and cream might be much more than traditional custard recipe; however as the bread bakes, it will absorb the liquid.
Once you mix up the custard mixture, pour it over the bread in your pan. Make sure the whole bread is soaked fully in the custard. You can use a spatula to press pieces down into the mixture, by this way you will be sure that they are fully coated.
I usually let the bread sit in the mixture for around 30 minutes to absorb the liquid, then drizzle some melted butter on top before it goes into the oven. By doing this, the top will look caramelized and crispy while the texture still stays soft inside.
You can add in nuts like chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts, chocolate chips or dried fruits like raisins to provide some nice color and texture.
More Breakfast Recipes:
- 8 slices (8oz) day-old bread*, see my note
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk*, room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream*, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup raisins (or other dried fruits, pecan, chocolate chips)
- Grease an 8-inch cast iron skillet (or an 8-inch baking dish) and set aside.
- Cut bread slices into 1-inch cubes and place them in an even layer into a prepared skillet (or preferred baking dish). Sprinkle with raisins, or preferred dried fruit if desired.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar. Add milk, heavy cream, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract, and whisk until combined. Pour cream mixture over bread mixture in the prepared skillet or baking pan, making sure all of the bread is coated. You can use a spatula to press pieces down into the mixture to make sure that they are fully coated. Drizzle melted butter on top. Allow the bread to sit and soak up the mixture for about 30 minutes, but if you're in a hurry, bake it right away.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until custard has set and the top is golden brown, or when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the pudding cool slightly before serving.
- Bread pudding can be served warm or cold and will freeze well for up to 3 months.