A loaf of French bread lay on top of our bread box, staring at me. It was at least 4 days old and as hard as a rock.
I’d planned on serving it with some lemon spaghetti but we wound up eating out – three nights in a row – so by the time I did cook up the pasta, the bread was seriously stale.
Bread pudding, redeemer of hard bread, to the rescue.
This is such a comfort food, especially when warm. The pudding is lightly sweetened and the flavors are mild but it’s really delicious. It’s also very filling; I wanted a second helping but I'm too stuffed to actually have one.
Next time, I’ll try substituting the white sugar for brown.
Recipe adapted from Digs Magazine
Simple Bread Pudding
A loaf of stale bakery bread, torn or cut into 1-inch bread cubes
3 cups milk, half-n-half, or a combination of both
1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp.)
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Toss the milk, butter, cinnamon and sugar into a saucepan, and heat gently over medium heat until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Place bread in a large bowl. Pour the milk mixture over the bread, making sure to cover all the bread. Weigh the bread down by placing a plate or pan on top of the mixture, held down with a few cans from the cupboard. Let sit for about five minutes, making sure the bread gets good and soaked.
Beat the eggs and pour on top of the bread mixture; stir to thoroughly combine. Pour mixture into 8-inch pan and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Place the pan into a larger baking dish and place in the oven. Add enough hot water to the larger dish until the water reaches about an inch from the top.
Bake for 45-70 minutes. The pudding will be puffy and golden when it's done; when a knife stuck into the center comes out fairly clean, the pudding is done.
Enjoy it warm (with vanilla ice cream) or cold. Bread pudding keeps well for a couple of days; just cover and store in the fridge.