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bread pudding

I love the bread pudding that I get at restaurants, but I find that when I make it at home I just can't replicate the texture. It's never as creamy and the bread cubes never seem to disintegrate into one lovely mass. I have doggedly followed recipes, so what am I missing?

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  1. I think one of the biggest things that make homemade bread pudding a success is using day old or dried out bread. It definitely makes a difference because it soaks up the custard so much better. If I've forgotten to leave the bread out for a day, I'll slice it and put it in a low oven until dry and let it cool a bit before using. I also find using denser bread helps - my favorite lately is using brioche.

    1. One of the best bread puddings I have ever had is at the Science Hill Inn in Shelbyville. They make it from stale biscuits. It is so light and creamy it is amazing. They serve it with a bourbon sauce. I'd have to make the biscuits on purpose because when I do make them they disappear quickly

      1. Have you tried recipes that let the bread soak overnight? Definitely make sure you're using day old bread (but not week old - too hard and dry!) and let it soak well.

        I don't know if baking in a water bath would help? I haven't made enough bread puddings to pay attention to detailsin variations. I just know they're tasty and whisky sauces make them even better!

        1. I use day old croissants cut into large cubes, drizzle them with melted butter, then add a custard of egg yolks, whipping cream and sugar and flavouring, My secret is before adding the custard, add a healthy amount of finely chopped white chocolate to the croissant cubes in the baking dish (along with fruit and/or nuts), add the custard, and do use a water bath. It's all about the fat..but it turns out rich and beautiful.

          1. Try William Sonoma's recipe for Chocolate Bread Pudding. It uses day-old croissants, is easy to make, and soooo good. Always a crowd pleaser.


            1 Reply
            1. re: gator14

              Stale croissants are a great twist.

              Sourdough and french bread give a different 'tang' and texture.

              I've also had great success w/ challah and stale buttermilk biscuits.

              Soaking overnight is very helpful, in my experience. Bread pudding, as I've found, does not like to be rushed.

            2. these are actually bread and butter puddings or variations of.

              Bread pudding is different and involves lots of spices and dried fruit (no milk or cream) and is mushed up and ends up being a dark mass cut into squares.

              Anyway that's what they are called in the UK.

              1. Mmmmm. I made a fantastic chocolate and cherry bread pudding on Friday night, that turned out much closer to what I had hoped. I'm not sure if it was the addition of the chocolate or using day old French bread instead of the regular multigrain loaf I usually use (I don't often buy French bread, and usually just save up crusts of the bread that I like for sandwiches, but texture of this bread is much denser than a French loaf). I'll have to keep experimenting to see what is the key for pleasing my tastes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: renshiwo

                  Yes, cubes of French bread will give you a VERY different resulting bread pudding than one made with the trimmed crusts of multigrain sandwich bread.

                  I'd save the crusts for making bread crumbs and try to use day old loaves of bread for bread pudding. The soft inside of the bread (slightly stale, of course) is what helps give the bread pudding its wonderful texture.

                2. I use challah with great success. And lots of soaking time.

                  1. I used to work at a restaurant that had a great chocolate bread pudding -- they made it the regular way - eggs, milk etc. but like most stuff in restaurants they upped the flavor with tons of fat -- half full fat milk - half creme. etc. and before putting the bread in the oven - they covered the whole top of it with pats of butter -- easily 1 and a half sticks just arranged on top.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Marianna215

                      soundsd good to me and i have a stale loaf of French bread needing to be used. Hmmmm maybe a tomorrow project. Got milk that needs to be used and half and half. Lots of eggs on hand.

                    2. Try using brioche or challah & let the mixture sit overnight in the fridge. If I'm in a pinch & can't find either of those I'll use sliced cinnamon raisin bread.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sugarbuzz

                        Stale biscuits are my favorite, they cannot be beat, they give it an ethereal lightness but I have this stale loaf of French bread the Dh made last weekend that needs too be used.

                      2. You can make a light creamy bread pudding using plain cheap "white bread." I've got a long serrated knife that'll cut about 4 slices of bread at a time into ~3/4 inch cubes. Soak the cubes at least a half hour in your egg/half-n-half mixture or whatever your recipe calls for, and gently stir. THEN Add more half-n-half to get a fluid but not runny consistency. Bake in a bain marie.

                        Bonus - cover raisins in 1/2 water 1/2 bourbon (optionally add tsp sugar); microwave and then let soak. Drain before adding raisins to pudding. The uncooked pudding should not be so thin that the fat juicy raisins sink.