The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bread pudding recipe?

ericb's picture

bread pudding recipe?

I have a freezer full of stale bread and a hankerin' for bread pudding. The one thing I don't have is a recipe!

Would anyone mind sharing his or her favorite bread pudding recipe? Maybe something with a splash of bourbon? I'd love to make it tonight if at all possible.


qahtan's picture

You say you would like bread pudding, but there seems to be a big difference in Bread pudding made as in UK, like a heavy delicious fruit cake. yum.

And bread pudding made on this side of the Atlantic, that is like the UK bread and butter pudding, totally different, also yummy but different. it has a kind of egg custard in it. currants and slices of buttered bread spread with marmalade, baked. 



Jamestuk's picture

The basic recipe is just buttered bread soaked in egg custard mixture and then baked, I tend to just guess the quantaties depending on how much bread I have, what type it is (big holes, little holes) and how stale the bread is! :D

I suppose I usually put 3 or 4 eggs into about pint of milk maybe more, I just make sure it's going to be enough to soak into the bread, a few good spoons of sugar, vanilla extract, and whisk it all up and then usually add more sugar to taste. I guess you could add some bourbon in here. Some milk can be substituted for cream if available/desired.

Butter the bread and arrange them in the oven dish. Dried fruit goes in here if it's been requested/suggested by whoever I'm cooking with.

Pour the custard mixture over the top, and let it all soak for half an hour or so, the soggier the bits of bread the better. Put the oven on to heat at this point.

Before it goes in the oven I grate some nutmeg and sprinkle some sugar on top so it'll go a bit crispy and tasty. Then it just goes in the oven till its cooked ie. looks edible.

baltochef's picture

Cut your stale bread into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes.Melt enough butter to coat the stale bread cubes well..Toss the melted butter and bread cubes together, trying to coat the cubes as evenly as possible..Toss the buttered cubes of bread with enough granulated sugar to coat the cubes well..Measure the sugar in 1/4 cup increments, or by weight, to keep track of the total amount of sugar in the recipe..Toss the buttered and sugared cubes of bread with the ground cinnamon of your choice..I like both cassia and true cinnamon..Place the buttered, sugared, and spiced bread cubes on a parchment lined sheet pan..Bake them at 400F until crispy, turning the cubes on the pan with tongs, or a pancake turner, to get them as evenly caramelized as possible..

Now make the custard..The total volume of the eggs / milk mixture should be roughly equal to the volume of the unbaked bread cubes, if not slightly greater..For every cup of cracked eggs, use 1/2 cup each of whole milk and heavy cream..Heat the milk and cream over medium heat until 120F..Dissolve granulated sugar into the milk until it is slightly over sweet..Allow this mixture to cool to 80F-90F before adding to the eggs..The final sweetness will be reduced by the bread and the eggs..Stir 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract into each cup of eggs..Soak 1 cup of dried raisins for every 4 cups of dried bread crumbs in the hard alcohol of your choice..Rum, brandy, bourbon, etc..Drain the raisins, and save the soaking alcohol in the fridge for future uses..

In a large bowl put the caramelized bread cubes, the drained, alcohol-soaked raisins, and the egg / milk / heavy cream / granulated sugar / vanilla mixture all together..Mix together well with your hands..Allow to soak, covered, in the refridgerator, for 30-60 minutes..At the end of the soaking time if the bread cubes have absorbed all of the liquid, then add more custard mixture until you can see the custard liquid between the now sopping wet bread cubes..

Bring several quarts of water to a boil on the stove..Place the bread pudding mixture in 6-8 oz. ramekins on a 1/2 sheet pan..Allow adequate space between the ramekins for hot air to flow around them..Place the sheet pan(s) in a well pre-heated 350F oven..Carefully pour the boiling hot water into the sheet pans to a depth of 1/2"..Close the oven door, and bake until the centers of each ramekin stick clean with a sharp knife..This takes from 30-75 minutes, depending upon the size of the ramekin, and how full it is filled..The ramekins will in all likelihood bake at slightly different rates, especially if there are two sheet pans full of ramekins baking at the same time on different racks..If this is so, pull individual ramekins out of the oven as they reach doneness using a pair of tongs in one hand, and a tea towel folded over many times in the opposite hand to catch any drips of water off of the bottom of the ramekins..

Allow to cool on a wire rack, wrap well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate..Serve, warmed up to 120F, and topped with a good vanilla ice cream..


gaaarp's picture

Eric, here is my favorite bread pudding recipe, given to me by a friend of mine from New Orleans.  It is his mom's recipe.

  • 1 loaf French bread, stale, torn into bits

  • 1 quart milk (4 cups)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Soak bread in milk in large bowl for 20-30 minutes.

  3. Stir in sugar, raisins, and vanilla.

  4. Add eggs and mix lightly.

  5. Pour into buttered baking dish.  Place dish in bakin pan.

  6. Place baking pan on middle oven rack, and carefully pour boiling water approximately 1/2-inch deep in baking pan.

  7. Bake 30-45 minutes.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup bourbon

  • 1 egg, beaten

  1. Melt butter and sugar together over low heat, stirring constantly.

  2. Stir in bourbon.

  3. Whisk in egg.

  4. Heat slowly for a minute or two to thicken.

  5. Pour over bread pudding and serve.


SylviaH's picture

Phyl, Love those New Orleans recipes....This is the real deal...thanks for the recipe!!


Pompom's picture

I just made this bread pudding today and it came out the best I've ever made.  I did change it up a bit with using cream instead of milk, reduced the sugar to 3/4cup and was still sweet, and lastly, added a tad bit of candied orange peel that I had made recently.  Wow!!!  Sooo Good!!  Thanks so much for the recipe!

qahtan's picture


 This is UK style bread pudding, (also known as wet nelly in London) ;-))))


000_0001-1.jpg picture by qahtan

AnnieT's picture

qahtan, now that IS bread pudding, just like Mom used to make! Really sticks to the ribs. Never heard it called wet nelly but then I'm not from London. Thanks for the memory, A.

qahtan's picture

 Yippee, at last some one who knows what a proper bread pudding should be ......      ;-))))) qahtan

SylviaH's picture

One of my favorite things to do in making a special bread pudding is to have thick slices of cinnamon swirl bread laid in whole slices and covered with extra custard and baked!


qahtan's picture

That then to me is bread and butter pudding. ;-))) qahtan

PaddyL's picture

Bread and butter pudding is slices of buttered bread in custard, while bread pudding is generally either cubed bread or bread crumbs in custard.  I love bread and butter pudding.