Bread Pudding

I am obsessed with salad, but I hate to make it.  I hate watery lettuce but I also hate drying it; I feel like bagged salad goes bad quickly but I hate ripping up heads of lettuce; I never have on hand exactly what I want to put in it.  So, when I have a salad craving, I go to Intermezzo on Telegraph in Berkeley.  They have huge portions, it’s affordable, and they serve their salad with a big hunk of honey wheat bread on the side.  It’s delicious!  The last time I was there, I asked for more bread as we were leaving so I could enjoy it with my leftovers the next day.  They charged me a quarter for a whole bag of bread!

I knew I wouldn’t eat it all, so I decided to invent this bread pudding recipe to use it up.  The bread ended up being great for this recipe because it’s substantial and a little bit sweet.  If you make this and you don’t have a bread that’s on the sweet side, I would add some honey, maple syrup, or agave to the custard.

I haven’t had a chance to make this again to perfect the recipe.  If I were to make it again, I would use superfine sugar for the topping to make it less gritty.  I would also be curious to see how it baked up in a larger pan as opposed to the small ramekins that I used.  It also might be nice to do layers of bread and sugar instead of only doing sugar on the top.  Play around with it!

Bread Pudding

Ingredients

-4 cups of 1 inch cubes of day-old bread (preferably honey whole wheat)

-2.5 cups milk (2%)

-3 eggs

-3 tbsp melted butter

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 to 3/4 cup white sugar

-1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 4 ramekins with butter and set aside.

2. Cut bread into cubes. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Set aside.

4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Set aside.

5. Place bread cubes into the ramekins.  Pour milk mixture over bread until liquid reaches just under the rim.  For less custard, fill only halfway (if you do this, make sure to serve with syrup or other liquid as they turn out a bit dry).

6. Drizzle a bit of melted butter on each ramekin.  Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top (not as much as I did!).

7. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until custard is set and tops have begun to brown.

8. Let them cool and enjoy for a sweet breakfast or light dessert!

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