Bread puddings seem to be the quintessential holiday breakfast food. Although, breakfast bread pudding shows up on my table most winter weekends. It’s simple to prepare; and while I’m sipping my morning coffee, the bread pudding is slowly baking in the oven filling my home with the divine smells of spices and warm baked bread.
Bread pudding is also a great way to use up the extra loaf of cinnamon bread, Christmas panettone, or the loaf of sourdough that will soon be past its prime. Sometimes I prepare a sweet bread pudding and sometimes I like it savory, with sausage, apples and Emmental or Gruyère cheese. (I’ll post this one soon!)
A family favorite is this delicious cranberry walnut bread pudding prepared with cinnamon bread, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts, drizzled with maple butter or brandy butter sauce. If cranberries aren’t your favorite, substitute with dark or golden raisins. As well, chopped pecans can also make a nice substitute for the walnuts.
Simply delicious and simply prepared. Happy Baking!
1 loaf cinnamon bread, diced into cubes (enough to make 2-3 layers)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
5 large eggs
1 cup egg nog, whole milk or heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup (if using whole milk or heavy cream)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Brandy Butter Sauce
1/4 cup butter
2 T. brandy
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup maple syrup
Layer cinnamon bread cubes, 2-3 layers thick, in the bottom of a greased (using the 3 tblsps of butter) 8 1/2 x11 baking dish or disposable foil baking pan.
Sprinkle the cranberries and walnuts evenly over the bread cubes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg nog (milk or cream) and maple syrup. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Make sure all the bread cubes have been soaked in the egg milk mixture.
Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (This can also be wrapped with plastic wrap and then wrapped with foil and frozen for a later date, just thaw slightly before baking)
To bake, preheat the oven to 350F and bake the pudding for 45 – 50 minutes or until the center of the pudding is set.
While the pudding is baking prepare the maple butter syrup or brandy butter sauce.
For the maple butter syrup: heat the maple syrup and butter until melted. Dust the finished pudding with powdered sugar and cut into squares. Serve hot accompanied by the hot buttered syrup.
For the brandied butter sauce: Melt the butter in a double boiler. Add the brandy, sugar, and egg yolk. Whisk constantly to form a thick sauce, about 1 minute. Serve the warm bread pudding with the sauce.
To keep it on the “lighter” side, use whole milk instead of heavy cream or egg nog . This bread pudding is also delicious with just a drizzle of real maple syrup.