Here's something to be thankful for: an irresistible dessert made from a few simple ingredients. Our bread pudding is just that — velvety homemade custard combined with cubes of leftover bread. With a little help from you, kids can master this holiday-worthy recipe or its scrumptious pumpkin variation just in time to warm your Thanksgiving table.
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Baker's Tip: Most any kind of bread can be used to make bread pudding, but stale or slightly dry bread absorbs the custard best. Dry out fresh slices by baking them in a 250-degree oven for 20 minutes.
Cook's Dictionary: The use of a water bath (a French technique called bain-marie) promotes even baking and gives the custard base of this pudding a silky texture.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding To mark the harvest season, transform our traditional bread pudding into a pumpkin-flavored dessert. Just follow the instructions for the main recipe but substitute the following ingredients for the custard: 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup canned solid-packed pumpkin or fresh cooked pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup whole milk, 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
Generously coat an 8-inch square baking dish with butter. Remove the crust from the loaf of bread and slice the loaf into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in the dish and sprinkle the raisins on top.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk, 1/2 cup sugar, whipping cream, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Whisk again until the mixture is well blended.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and raisins. Let the ingredients stand for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the custard. Use a spoon to occasionally push down the bread cubes as they soak.
Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the pudding, then place the baking dish in a larger baking or roasting pan. Put the combined pans on the middle rack of the oven, then pour hot water into the larger pan (an adult's job) until it reaches halfway up the sides of the smaller dish (see the Cook's Dictionary tip below).
Bake the pudding until it's puffed and golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pudding from its water bath and set it on a wire rack. Let the dessert cool for 15 minutes before serving, with a dollop of whipped cream if you like.
Per serving (1 slice): Calories 296 ● Total Fat 13 g (21% DV) ● Saturated Fat 7 g (37% DV) ● Cholesterol 133 mg (44% DV) ● Sodium 215 mg (9% DV) ● Total Carbohydrate 37 g (12% DV) ● Fiber 1 g (4% DV) ● Sugars 23 g ● Protein 7 g (15% DV)
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Per serving (1 slice): Calories 290 ● Total Fat 12 g (19% DV) ● Saturated Fat 7 g (35% DV) ● Cholesterol 108 mg (36% DV) ● Sodium 207 mg (9% DV) ● Total Carbohydrate 39 g (13% DV) ● Fiber 2 g (7% DV) ● Sugars 23 g ● Protein 6 g (13% DV) ● Vitamin A (73% DV)
Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.