mixed berry bread pudding

happy sunday, friends!

i’m sitting on the floor of my living room with my back against the couch and a hot cup of mediocre pour over (because i have yet to learn the art of coffee). if i’m up early enough, i spend the first couple hours of my weekends thinking about what to make, how to utilize the ingredients i already have to make something new for this blog, etc etc. my indecisive soul gets really panicky about it, and it gets so overwhelming.

 
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So, i’m learning to take it in today. I’m learning to enjoy the quiet morning before the excitement of the day comes about (today Is church and my sister, brother-in-law, and niece are visiting from la!). It’s been a wild week, both personally and professionally, and I’m trying to just…breathe.

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This mixed berry bread pudding came about during one of those omg-what-can-i-bake-today-without-having-to-go-to-the-store moments. I had an extra french bread loaf around and naturally, panicked because i didn’t want it to mold and go to waste. i googled for inspiration, and voila!

bread pudding, in my opinion, has multiple components- the type of bread, the type of soak, and the mix-ins. To me, the soak must be custardy, which means it must contain eggs and and a good amount of fat. Otherwise, a pure milk-based base will just soak through the bread and leave it with no structure.

 
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This mixed berry bread pudding has structure and is versatile, and you’ll find more options in the baker’s notes below. But what you’ll end up with is a custardy bread pudding dish with berry chunks scattered throughout and a hint of cinnamon. it can get a bit rich (i mean, we’re talking carbs and cream), but it’s quite delicious and not overbearingly sweet. the berries help cut down on the richness, so i guess that means you can add more richness instead with ice cream? regardless, it’s simple, and here’s the tl;dr:

  1. cut stale bread + mix in berries

  2. pour custard mixture + cinnamon

  3. scoop into ramekins

  4. bake + eat!!!

 
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baker’s notes: as mentioned above, this dish is quite versatile. You can make it with any type of leftover bread that is stale, as the final texture comes out best that way. I think my french bread was a couple days old! feel free to use a combination of leftover breads; i think that’d be quite interesting.

i write the recipe below for individual servings, but feel free to make it in a large baking dish. i’ll mention that in the recipe, but note that you may have to bake it longer than indicated in the recipe below.

and last thing before i let you go- you can soak this overnight if you want warm bread pudding in the morning! okay, that’s all.

 
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mixed berry bread pudding

makes 6-8 ramekins, or one 9x9-dish
adapted from epicurious

8 cups of bread (i used one french loaf),
cubed into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

in a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes and berries. set aside.

in another large bowl, beat together the eggs until frothy. add the sugar, and beat until the mixture has thickened just a bit. beat in the heavy cream, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. pour the wet mixture over the bread cubes and gently press the cubes into the wet mixture so they’re well-coated. (at this point, you can cover the bread pudding mixture and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 8 hours.)

preheat the oven to 375 f. lightly grease your baking dish or ramekins, and distribute the bread mixture evenly into the baking dish or ramekins. bake the bread pudding for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. if using a larger baking dish, it may take a couple more minutes but start checking at the 30-minute mark.

let the bread pudding cool slightly, and serve warm, perhaps with ice cream. otherwise, these can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature, maybe dusted with powdered sugar right before serving. enjoy!!

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sdg,

grace