Cook This Tonight: Savory Bread Pudding

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
February 4, 2014

You want to cook tonight. You want it to be easy. Welcome to Cook This Tonight, the place where we solve that problem for you. 

Photo credit: Food52

Bread pudding has a long, impressive history. Known as “poor man’s pudding” in 13th century England, it was a popular way to use up day-old bread, and a cheap meal, to boot.

Today, you’ll more often than not find bread pudding on restaurant dessert menus, maybe loaded up with raisins, bananas, or caramel. But gone savory, bread pudding is a total delight: It’s eggy, sometimes creamy, and features wonderfully crunchy bits that have been crisped up in the oven. Plus, it’s a smart way to use up veggies on the brink of freshness, or that corner of slab bacon. Chef Thomas Keller’s leek bread pudding is one of our favorites thanks to some beautifully caramelized leeks, but it’s also time-consuming. It’s a recipe for a lazy day of cooking

This version below, a custardy bread pudding from Food52, is weeknight-friendly, yet unctuously indulgent, thanks to two types of cheese and flavor-packed prosciutto and mushrooms. (Envision French toast’s saltier sibling.) Have we sold you yet? Good. 

Savory Bread Pudding
by kamileon, Food52
Serves 4

3 cups diced bread
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 ounces chèvre, finely crumbled
3 ounces prosciutto, diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 shallots, minced
4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
Cracked pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shredded Gruyère or Parmesan (optional)

Toast bread cubes in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, stirring halfway through. Leave oven on at 350. 

In a bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and cream until thoroughly blended. In a 9x9 square baking pan, toss together bread cubes, prosciutto, shallot, mushrooms, thyme, and pepper. Gently stir in chèvre. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes. If desired, garnish with a shredded cheese such as Parmesan or Gruyère, for a golden crust. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into center reads above 145 degrees.