When life gives you lemons…make lemonade. And when life hands you stale bread…make bread pudding!
I had a two-fold problem this week. I had half of a loaf of French bread that had gone stale and I needed to make something for Craig to take into work for an office party (I sometimes wonder if they work in that office, they have so many parties). I realize the bread doesn’t seem like that much of an issue. I could toss it or make it into breadcrumbs. The breadcrumb route is usually what I do with stale bread (never have to buy them that way), but it was a little too much bread.
It finally hit me…make bread pudding. I’m not sure why it took me so long to come up with that answer since I love bread pudding and making it is so easy. I guess it’s because I usually make a savory bread pudding and not sweet ones.
I also recently received a 14-piece glass bake, serve and store set from OXO. Perfect! I needed an 8″x8″ pan to make the bread pudding. Yes, I have a couple of those pans already but this one comes with a raised, slosh-proof lid so the bread pudding didn’t get squashed and the plastic wrap wouldn’t go flying off while Craig was toting it into the office. The pans also have wide handles that work with oven mitts and Craig’s sometimes clumsy mitts.
Both glass bakeware and SNAP glass food storage are made of thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass, which means the bakeware can go from freezer to oven or microwave without cracking. Both the bakeware and food storage can withstand up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature change. Which means you can prepare and freeze dinner dishes in the bakeware and take them straight from the freezer and pop them into the oven…no thawing required.
The bread pudding recipe that I used is my take on a William Sonoma recipe for a really simple, straight forward bread pudding. No fancy ingredients or procedures required. (Which is my kind of recipe.) They used dried fruit in theirs, but with all the Spring berries coming in, I couldn’t resist using them for my bread pudding.
Oh, because I was super pressed for time the day I made the recipe, I prepped the night before. I cut up the fruit and put it into one of the SNAP glass food storage container. There are so many benefits of these storage containers. First off, they’re glass but beyond that they’re clearly marked with sizes, the lids are interchangeable with their SNAP plastic line, they’re stackable, microwave safe (including the lids…just undo the tabs first) and they have a leak proof seal (which is important if your refrigerator looks like mine).
The bread pudding was a big hit at the office. To finish it off, I dusted it with powdered sugar. If I had been serving it here at the house I would have served it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- 12 slices day-old baguette, cut into ¾-inch cubes (or ½ loaf French bread)
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 4 cups milk
- 1½ cups fresh berries, cut to similar size
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly butter an 8"x8" pan and evenly spread the cubed bread in the pan.
- Whisk the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until thoroughly blended.
- Add the milk to the egg mixture and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Let stand and occasionally press down on the bread until it is evenly soaked. This should take around 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the berries on top of the bread mixture and gently push the fruit down a bit so that it's mixed in with the bread a little bit.
- Bake the bread pudding until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Top with powdered sugar.
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