Bread pudding is one of those desserts that I don’t see offered often in restaurants. Mind you up until 1999 I thought bread pudding was nothing I’d ever be interested in tasting, let alone make. However, as a university student working in the summers to pay for tuition I did not say no to free food. I may have believed that I had discerning taste at 21 years of age, but like I said, a girl has got to eat. With that, I had my first taste of bread pudding while clearing the dessert buffet at a luxurious hotel. I’d love to say that we all sat at a table after the restaurant closed, but that was not the case. It was very much frowned upon eating anything off of the buffet after service even though it was just going to go to the trash. Liability, maybe? Hygiene, maybe? I mean unless you make a living taste testing, eating while working isn’t usually condoned. So back to me sneaking a taste of something so light, fluffy, creamy, buttery, sweet with a touch of crunch. This dessert was a bit of a revelation. So much so, that I had to make bread pudding for my parents as soon as I visited them on the farm. I insisted on reading at least 4 different recipes and decided on using the ‘best’ parts of recipes by Escoffier and Betty Bossi. While I have modified the recipe since then, I still pre-bake the bread cubes for an added crunch. I have also decided to make a salted caramel sauce for this very delicious Salted Caramel Bread Pudding. I like to use day old challah bread or zöpf for bread pudding. You can experiment with different types of bread and you’ll experience different textures and probably baking times. Do let me know what your go to bread is for bread pudding!
Starting out with day old enriched bread makes for a decadent dessert.
Slice up the bread into bite sized pieces.
I insist upon baking the cubes for a short time prior to pouring the custard over the ‘croutons’
Pour the custard over the prepared croutons, making sure that every piece has been kissed by it!
The bread pudding is warm out of the oven and ready for caramel sauce!
The making of an easy, luscious and warm caramel sauce is finished within 10 minutes!
The caramel sauce is poured over the warm bread pudding, allowing the top half of the bread pudding to soak up the liquid gold.
Moist, slightly sweetened by the custard and finished with a dreamy caramel sauce that drapes over the crispy top of the bread pudding.
- 1½ lb day old loaf of challah bread or zopf, cut into bite sized pieces
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups milk (I like to use whole milk)
- 1½ cup half and half cream
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1½ tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the Caramel Sauce:
- ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter a 9x9 glass dish and set aside.
- Using a sharp seated knife, cut bread into 1 inch slices and then proceed to cut into bite sized pieces.
- Place bread bites into a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over the bread pieces and toss to lightly coat.
- Pour bread pieces into glass dish and spread evenly. Place glass dish on second from the bottom rack in oven and leave in oven for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the custard. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs together. Add milk, half and half, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and whisk just to incorporate. Set aside.
- Take the bread bites out of the oven and pour the custard over the bread bites evenly.
- Place back in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the bread pudding is baking, make a salted caramel sauce. The caramel sauce takes about 6 minutes, is super easy to make and tastes heavenly! In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir vigorously until smooth, and let cook for about 4 minutes. Turn down heat, add vanilla and let bubble over low heat for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove bread pudding from oven and pour the caramel sauce evenly over it - it will seem like a lot, but the crunchy tops of bread will soak up some of the sauce and it'll be crazy delish.
- Serve warm with extra caramel sauce or vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and berries - whatever you'd like to accompany this favorite. Enjoy!