Even though I don’t eat a lot of bread, I still end up with enough scraps to make this a couple times a year. We all end up with scraps of bread – heels, stale slices, broken pieces, etc. What do we usually do with them? They probably get tossed in the trash or fed to the MANY geese we have here in CO! But, you can use those undesirable pieces of bread to make something delicious. Bread pudding. This is my go-to potluck dish. Whenever I take it to the office, it disappears in a snap! I keep a bag in my freezer and whenever I collect enough scraps, I’ll make a batch of this. It’s a great way to make sure nothing goes to waste!
Easy Bread Pudding
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Old, stale bread (doesn’t matter what kind, just need enough to pack into a 9×13 glass baking dish – roughly 12 cups)
4 1/2 cups whole milk or cream (yes, cream … yummmm)
1/2 maple syrup (or more if you want it sweeter)
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon (plus a little more for the top)
1 tsp. sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with butter or coconut oil. Tear or cut (tearing is easier) the scraps of bread up and pack it into the dish. Really pack it in there. Once you add the liquid, it will really soak in and settle. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the maple syrup with about 1 cup of milk and whisk until combined – keep over very low heat so that the milk doesn’t heat up too much. Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the rest of the milk. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and then slowly whisk in the milk/maple syrup mixture. NOTE: Be careful that you check the temperature of the milk/sugar mixture before adding it to the egg mixture. If it’s too hot, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. You want it barely lukewarm.
Pour the egg/milk/maple syrup mixture slowly over the bread, making sure that all of it gets covered. Sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes. You want the liquid to be soaked up and the bread to be springy, but not dry. It might seem a little underdone when you take it out of the oven, but it will set up as it cools.
You can serve this warm or cold. You can also add some fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. In my opinion, this tastes much better the day after making it. It also freezes well, so you can portion it up and store in the freezer for several months.
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