Bread Pudding With Chocolate and Orange Zest

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Bread pudding is the perfect way to use up bread that’s gone stale. In fact, it’s so good you may find yourself intentionally letting your bread go stale, just to make this pudding. Serve it for breakfast in place of french toast, or for dessert. Not only is it comforting and delicious, it’s endlessly customizable. A little warmed maple syrup takes it over the top.


  • 1/2 loaf of French, Italian, or country bread (challah or brioche would be wonderful too), cubed. Day old or stale is better.
  • 1/2 cup half and  half (or cream)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup almond milk (or any kind of milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • zest of one orange
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ounces of dark chocolate chopped (or chocolate chips)
  • Handful of dried cherries, chopped (You could substitute raisins or any dried fruit.)
  • A handful of slivered almonds
  • Sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar for sprinkling
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • Preheat your oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl, mix the half and half, almond milk, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extracts, and whisk until smooth. Add the cubed bread, chocolate, and dried cherries and toss until coated with the egg and milk mixture. Allow these to sit for about five minutes, occasionally tossing so the bread absorbs the liquid evenly.
  • Butter a baking dish. (I used a 9″ round, but square would work.)
  • By now the bread should have soaked up most of the liquid. Pour the bread into the baking dish, scraping any leftover milk mixture along with it.
  • Arrange the break so it’s spread evenly but don’t press it down flat.
  • Sprinkle the slivered almonds, granulated sugar, and sparkling sugar over the top.
  • With your remaining butter, drop small pats over the surface.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Check it at 35 minutes just to be safe. The top of the bread should be toasty and browned, but it shouldn’t jiggle or move when you shake the pan.
  • Allow to rest for about five minutes before serving.

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Thanks for reading!

 

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