When I was a kid, I didn't think much of bread pudding. It was something my dad often chose over powdered sugar donuts or coffee cake from the sweets table after church.
Though I didn't understand his preference for bread pudding then, I do now! This traditional English dish is rich, warmly spiced, and perfect for a holiday brunch.
Bread pudding has been popular in England since the 13th century, when just about every kitchen had a deep bowl called a pudding basin that was used to collect scraps of stale bread. The stale bread was typically soaked in hot water and squeezed dry before being mixed with sugar and spices.
Today bread pudding is still a great way to use up old bread (which is one of many reasons why we love it), but instead of water, the bread is mixed with a rich custard made of eggs & cream or milk.
It's one of those simple yet completely satisfying pleasures of the holiday season, especially when enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee and good friends around the table.
If you google "bread pudding recipe," you'll find endless variations with different types of bread, flavor combinations, and toppings. The recipe below is a great one to start with because it's quick & easy and one we expect you'll want to make over and over!
It features our Cinnamon Maple Raisin loaf, but any of our breads can be used - even day old croissants or cinnamon rolls! If you do use a different kind of bread, you'll want to reduce the weight of cubed bread in the recipe, as the Cinnamon Maple Raisin is a bit more dense than our other loaves.
You can feel free to experiment with adding nuts or dried fruit too.
Rum Raisin Bread Pudding
400g (about 6 cups) Cinnamon Raisin Maple Sourdough, cubed
4 large eggs
283g (1 1/4 cups) whole milk
227g (1 cup) heavy cream
156g (1/2 cup) maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
30g (2 tbsp) rum
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish or six 10-ounce individual ramekins.
- Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, maple syrup, vanilla, rum, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over the bread cubes and stir thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid.
- Transfer the pudding to the prepared casserole dish and bake for 55 to 65 minutes (30 to 40 for ramekins), until the center is set (it should barely jiggle when gently shaken).
- Remove from the oven and serve warm with milk or heavy cream.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for 5 days.
If you're curious about other variations of bread pudding, here are a few additional recipes we found that you might like to try:
If you make a bread pudding during the holidays this year, we would love to hear how it turns out! Comment below to share your recipe and critique.
Thank you for your support this time of year. We wish you a warm and loving holiday season.