Classic Bread Pudding Recipe

In a time when we're ever more concerned about food waste, reviving an old-school classic like bread pudding, which was invented to use up day-old bread, seems like the perfect solution. And Tommy Leung has just the recipe to help master this delicious nostalgic dessert.

This bread pudding recipe pairs chunks of bread with a rich, homemade custard. Studded with raisins, the bread pudding bakes until it's crispy on top but still tender within. While this recipe isn't overly technical to prepare, Leung does have a word of advice for newbies: "I would say the most important part of this recipe is to not over-bake the bread pudding in the oven," he says. "If you let it go too long, it can easily burn the top or get dry. So it's important to try to bring it out while it's still not completely set in the center."

When the bread pudding is cooked, you can garnish it with all manner of toppings. Leung opts for fresh strawberries, but English custard or whipped cream would also be excellent finishing touches.

"This bread pudding comes out super juicy and moist," says Leung, "so I don't think it's absolutely necessary to have any sauces."

Gather the ingredients for this bread pudding

In French, bread pudding is literally called pain perdu or lost bread, as it's made with stale bread from the day before that might otherwise end up in the trash. Soaked in custard, it becomes palatable again! But Leung says you don't need to wait for your bread to dry out to make this recipe.

"Using fresh or stale bread does not make a difference, as it's going to be baked again in the oven with the custard," he says. "But using stale bread is great way to repurpose bread that might be too stale for other uses."

Whether your bread is stale or not, you'll need a whole loaf of it. You'll soak it in a mix of cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and butter, which will lend loads of flavor and help it bake up crispy and golden brown. Some raisins are the last finishing touch you'll need for this bread pudding.

Slice the bread for your bread pudding

To start things off, slice the bread for the bread pudding. Cut it into large chunks that you'll easily be able to submerge in the custard. Leung opts to use a white honey wheat loaf for this recipe, but don't feel restricted to just that type of bread.

"I would be happy to use any kind of bread for this recipe," he says. "You could even make it from whole grain wheat breads or sourdoughs."

He warns, however, that the more fiber-rich your bread, the less moist the finished pudding will be. In this case, you may want an extra drizzle of sauce or a scoop of ice cream to add even more richness to the final dessert.

Soak the raisins for your bread pudding

Rehydrate the raisins in warm water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This step, notes Leung, "lets them stay plump, juicy, and not dry out while baking in the oven."

"It's also much nicer inside the bread pudding," he adds, "as the raisins will be much juicier when you bite into them, with a burst of flavor."

They don't need much time — just as long as it takes you to prepare the custard. And if you're feeling naughty, you could always add a bit of rum to the water for a rum raisin bread pudding!

Make the custard for the bread pudding

Next, turn your attention to the custard. To make it, simply combine the cream, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and vanilla in a saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Then set aside to cool until warm to the touch, and only then whisk in the eggs.

Waiting for the cream to cool is an essential step, notes Leung. "If the heat is too high, the eggs may cook," he says, "so make sure to keep whisking constantly and that the cream is not too hot." You don't want a scrambled egg bread pudding, after all!

Combine the ingredients for the bread pudding

When the custard is made, it's time to combine all of the ingredients for the bread pudding. Place the bread chunks in a large mixing bowl, and pour the custard over the top. Drain the raisins and sprinkle them over the bread, and then mix to combine with a rubber spatula, taking care not to crush the bread as you mix.

Oh, and while you're at it, you can preheat the oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit — it's nearly time to bake this bread pudding!

Bake the bread pudding

Transfer the bread pudding mixture into a casserole dish, and bake for 35 minutes. When it's puffed but still slightly jiggly or wobbly in the center, you'll know it's done. When you remove the bread pudding from the oven, your kitchen will be smelling divine ... but for Leung, it's essential to wait before digging in: at least an hour, or up to overnight.

"Some dishes just come together after resting for overnight in the fridge, and I think serving it cold from the fridge is really nice," says Leung. "To serve the bread pudding hot after chilling, reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes."

Classic Bread Pudding Recipe
4.9 from 24 ratings
In a time when we're ever more concerned about food waste, reviving an old-school classic like bread pudding seems like the perfect solution.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
4
servings
bread pudding
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf of bread
  • 3 ounces raisins
  • 3 cups cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 ounces butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
Directions
  1. Cut the sliced bread into large chunks.
  2. Rehydrate the raisins in water.
  3. In a pot over medium heat, add the cream, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. Heat until all the ingredients are combined.
  4. Let cool until warm to the touch, and add the eggs while whisking. If the heat is too high, the eggs may cook, so make sure to keep whisking constantly, and ensure that the cream is not too hot.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, pour the cream over the bread. Strain the water from the raisins and add them to the bowl.
  6. Place the bread mixture into a baking dish, and bake in a preheated oven at 340 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. The bread pudding should puff up in the oven and still be slightly jiggly and wobbly in the center.
  7. Let cool for at least an hour before serving, or let it sit in the fridge overnight before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,285
Total Fat 95.3 g
Saturated Fat 57.4 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 425.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 94.4 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Total Sugars 48.4 g
Sodium 607.1 mg
Protein 18.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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