Cinnamon Bread Pudding

by Sara on December 24, 2010

Are you looking to add decadence to your holiday brunch menu? How about a simple, easy-to-prepare dish that most everyone will love?

May I suggest bread pudding? It’s sweet, it’s filling, and it can be special. The first time I had a taste was when I went to Restaurant Week a couple of summers ago. B and I ordered from a 3 course tasting menu that was offered; we purposefully chose different menu items so we could taste each others’ meals. For dessert, I ordered banana’s foster, he ordered the bread pudding with ice cream. Up to that point, bread pudding didn’t sound like it could be all that great, yet I was quite curious.

I sampled a bite. It was delicious, in a breakfast meets dessert kind of way.

A couple of months later, the time had come to make it myself. A quick search of the Internet showed a pretty basic format (bread + custard), so I just threw this together. I have to say, I was rather pleased with the outcome.

As dessert, I think it is best served with vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise. For a holiday brunch, perhaps you will want to add the ice cream or creme anglaise – it IS brunch, after all – anything goes, right?

Bread Pudding

9 slices day-old cinnamon swirl bread*
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups half and half or whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Break bread into small pieces, add to a 9 inch pie plate. Drizzle melted butter over bread.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, half and half/milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

*This would also be great with brioche or challah, or good lord, if you’re really going all out, with horizontally sliced croissants.

If you make it with croissants, will you please invite me over that day???

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