Bread pudding is the most delicious answer to figuring out how to use up leftover or stale bread.
And that frugal and practical way of thinking is why I found this recipe in my Grandmother’s recipe box.
Grandma’s Bread Pudding
My Grandma didn’t let anything go to waste. She would use a rubber kitchen spatula and scrape out every last bit of a soup, sauce or batter.
So when I stumbled across this bread pudding recipe in her recipe box, I thought to myself, “of course she would have a way to use up stale bread!” And of course, she would make those “leftovers” taste delicious.
I’ve made this recipe many times, using my Grandmother’s “no waste” mentality as inspiration. If we have bread that hasn’t been eaten, from brioche to artisan sourdough to a French baguette, it’s likely been turned into a bread pudding.
What About Panettone?
Since the holidays are here, you might also want to try this recipe with panettone. Panettone, (it’s pronounced, “pan-uh-tone-eh) is an Italian sweet bread that is a holiday tradition in many families.
It’s a moist and tender bread, so be sure to let it dry out for a day so it will better absorb the custard of the pudding.
Since panettone already has dried fruits and nuts, it makes a flavorful addition to this recipe.
Easy Bread Pudding
- 3 tbsp. butter, unsalted
- 3 c. milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 6 cups cubed bread (challah, egg, brioche, panettone, italian, sourdough-bread will do best if slightly dry, so cube and leave out the night before baking,)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2.5 quart baking dish and add bread. Set aside.
In a saucepan over low heat, warm butter, milk, and sugar. Stir until butter melts. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Set aside and let cool.
Once mixture is cool, whisk in eggs. Pour evenly over cubed bread. Let sit for 30 minutes. Bake for 30-40 minutes. The edges of the bread should be browned and there should be a slight jiggle to the custard. Serve warm or at room temperature.
And To Drizzle On Your Bread Pudding
So, I took a little liberty with my Grandma’s easy bread pudding recipe.
Not with the recipe itself, but more with how to finish it off. And that’s where this delicious, buttery caramel sauce comes in.
Yep, you read that right. Buttery. Caramel. Sauce. It’s so decadent and good, I’ve eaten it with a spoon. Did I just type that? I confess. I have eaten this sauce with a spoon.
I have gifted this sauce in a pretty mason jar to friends. It’s delicious on ice cream, stirred in to yogurt or to transform your coffee (hot or iced!) It’s another easy recipe that you’ll be glad to have in your collection.
Buttery Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter
- 1 c. brown sugar (I like to use dark brown sugar, but either is fine)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. evaporated milk
Put butter and brown sugar in saucepan. Over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together. Let come to a boil, then remove from heat. Whisk in salt, vanilla and milk. Serve warm over bread pudding. This can be refrigerated and then warmed in microwave. You can serve this warm or cool…really preference. Keeps for a month in the refrigerator.
I hope the next time you have some bread in the house that is nearing it’s expiration date, you’ll remember this recipe for bread pudding. It’s so easy to make and so versatile in how you can adjust the flavor profile.
And the caramel sauce? Believe me, you won’t need reminding on that one. Enjoy every spoonful.
From my kitchen to yours,