January 30, 2023

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Bread Pudding – Once Upon a Chef

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This bourbon-spiked challah bread pudding is the perfect dessert for a cozy night in.

Bread pudding is a warm and comforting dessert that originated as a way to use stale bread. It is made by combining chunks of bread with eggs, milk, sugar, and butter to create a rich custard. While it was once known as “poor man’s pudding,” there is nothing humble about this  modern version made with challah and a splash of bourbon—it is decadent in every way! The bourbon adds depth to the custard, with hints of caramel, vanilla, and nutty flavor, without making the pudding taste boozy. I highly recommend using it, but you can substitute it with more milk if you prefer. Serve the bread pudding warm from the oven topped with vanilla ice cream for a truly cozy and satisfying dessert. It’s like a hug in a bowl!

This dessert is delicious in its simplicity, but feel free to experiment with add-ins like chocolate chips, toasted nuts, dried fruit, or shredded coconut. You can even make a chocolate or apple rum raisin version. And don’t think of it as just dessert—it also makes a great brunch dish.

What You’ll Need To Make Bread Pudding

bread pudding ingredients

Enriched breads like challah and brioche are the best breads to use for bread pudding, but if you have a loaf of French or Italian bread, they’ll work too. Just avoid using sourdough because its tangy flavor doesn’t go well with the sweet custard. The bread can be fresh or slightly stale; actually day-old bread is perfect for this dessert, as it will more readily soak up the custard mixture.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and then add the milk, sugar, melted butter, bourbon, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.

milk, sugar, butter, bourbon, vanilla and salt added to beaten eggs

Whisk until evenly combined.

custard mixture for bread pudding

Mix in the challah cubes.

bread cubes added to custard

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and let stand at least 1 hour (or refrigerate overnight).
bread pudding mixture in baking dish

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the top is golden and puffy and the center is set. It’s normal for it to deflate after you remove it from the oven. The custard expands while baking and will settle as it cools.

bread pudding fresh out of the oven

How To Freeze Bread Pudding

The baked bread pudding can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap or in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Before serving, reheat in the oven until warmed through.

Serve the dessert warm from the oven topped with vanilla ice cream.

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Bread Pudding

This bourbon-spiked challah bread pudding is the perfect dessert for a cozy night in.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (packed) challah or brioche cubes, from one loaf (about 9 oz)
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, sugar, melted butter, bourbon, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and whisk until evenly combined. Mix in the challah cubes. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and let stand at least 1 hour (or refrigerate overnight).
  3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the top is golden and puffy and the center is set. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
  4. Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread pudding can be assembled and refrigerated overnight. It can also be frozen, after baking, for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Before serving, reheat in a 300°F-oven until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (Nutritional info does not include ice cream – 8 servings)
  • Calories: 305
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Sugar: 29 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Sodium: 249 mg
  • Cholesterol: 126 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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