Make Ahead

Savory Bread Pudding

September 17, 2009
7 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I love savory breakfasts, and often make twists on traditionally sweet recipes for breakfast (like cheddar-leek-bacon waffles.) This was born from some leftover ham and boredom one Sunday morning. The heavy cream gives it a hint of creme brulee texture, but of course you can make it with something lighter like 2% milk. —kamileon

Test Kitchen Notes

Just think of this as strata gone wild. Kamileon has concocted a rich, custardy bread pudding containing everything but the kitchen sink that somehow doesn’t feel overwrought. A couple of details really make this dish stand out. First, you toast the bread cubes before combining them with the rest of the ingredients, which ensures a crunchy top layer. Second, you add raw, chopped shallot, which mellows slightly in the oven but still retains a nice, subtle kick. Prosciutto, goat cheese and parmesan make any additional salt gratuitous, while sliced mushrooms and copious amounts of fresh thyme give the bread pudding some depth. We found that mixing the dry ingredients in a large bowl before putting them in the baking dish helped prevent spillover, and our bread pudding spent a mere 25 minutes in the oven. If you poke it in the center, and it bounces back, you know it’s set! – A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups diced bread
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces chevre, finely crumbled
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 shallot, minced
  • 4 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • Cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded gruyere or parmesan (optional)
  1. Toast bread cubes in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, stirring halfway through. Leave oven on at 350.
  2. In a bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and cream until thoroughly blended.
  3. In a 9x9 square baking pan, toss together bread cubes, prosciutto, shallot, mushrooms, thyme, and pepper.
  4. Gently stir in chevre.
  5. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes.
  6. If desired, garnish with a shredded cheese such as parmesan or gruyere, for a golden crust.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into center reads above 145 degrees.
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31 Reviews

Adrienne L. December 25, 2020
Made as written for our Christmas brunch for two, and it is wonderfully delicious. I used a grainy country bread with the crust on, which got appropriately soggy but with nice crispy bits for texture. My fiancé is going back for thirds as I write this! I can't wait to make it again with some of the variations noted by the other commenters. Thanks for a great base recipe!
Hazel August 27, 2014
Fantastic easy dish. And as some people have commented, easy to substitute different ingredients. E.g. I used sautéed onions, finely diced mushrooms and bacon. Then covered it with leftover fondue. Delicious!
Katelinlee May 23, 2014
I made this using sourdough, mushrooms, leeks, kale, bacon and Swiss. Really good! Thanks for the great idea.
Manhattan T. February 10, 2014
I doubled the recipe (for a dinner party for 8) as a side for Nach Waxman's Brisket, also on Food52. A light dinner it was not! ;-) Thanks to help from other reviewers I used "French Country Loaf" from Trader Joe's, which was a heartier, sliced half-loaf. I didn't remove the crusts and used the whole loaf (you'll see why in a sec...). I sauteed the shallots and mushrooms (a good 8 oz of sliced crimini) a bit before tossing w/ the bread. Because my prosciutto (not pancetta? huh?) was thinly sliced, I didn't saute it. I made a mistake when doubling the milk and used 1 1/2 cups of whole milk so used only 1 1/2 cups of cream but added an extra egg yolk and then, when it seemed super-soupy, 3 extra slices of bread (thereby completing the half loaf)! I skipped the chevre (was using it in the veggie side and didn't wanna be redundant) but used fontina (liberally) on the top (after about 1/3 C. of panko, as it still seemed a bit soupy). I chucked all of it into a well-greased 9x13 and baked it for 65 minutes. It came out golden and lovely and delicious. There were not many leftovers, which is just how I like it. It was fabulously rich and tasty. Will make it again.
Manhattan T. February 6, 2014
Am making this as a side for brisket for a dinner party and am disappointed the "bread" called for in the recipe isn't more specific. What has anyone else used? Challah? Hearty, country loaf, crusts removed? Help, please?
kamileon February 6, 2014
I used a hearty wheat bread, but as long as you toast it a bit so it doesn't sog, you've got lots of wiggle room.
lala February 6, 2014
I've used hearty country loaf type bread and Italian bread for this recipe. I think I even used a baguette once, though not a super-crusty one. Just use something that won't disintegrate completely. Challah would be a good texture but I think would be too sweet/rich in my opinion.
Cookingly Y. October 4, 2013
sounds delicious! I'll try it as a light autumn dinner with a green salad
Jesse G. September 2, 2013
I don't believe this is really bread pudding, more along the lines of skillet but using bread rather than hash browns, not much of a difference.
frizz July 31, 2013
I made this today, and it was just a little too creamy for me. The chevre AND cream just put it over the top for me. (I never, ever thought that I'd argue against creaminess!) Next time I'll skip the chevre and top with a little more gruyere.
Karl R. March 19, 2013
I've made this recipe 3 times now and it always turns out great. One time I substituted the chevre with Zingerman Creamery's Sharon Hallow, a soft cow's cheese. Another time I used sausage instead of prosciutto, and a third I added some arugula. Like a frittata, this recipe is versatile!
kamileon March 19, 2013
We've also been using it as the basis for all sorts of variations. We did a manchego, spanish chorizo and caramelized onion variation that came out fantastically. It's more like a set of guidelines! As long as you keep the liquid to solid ratio about the same, and don't use too many really oily ingredients, you can't go wrong.
lschrive October 6, 2012
This is lovely - made tonight in a 9x13 pan - watched closely so it wouldn't dry out. I loved all the crispness the bigger pan gave it. Thank you so much - will definitely play around with this recipe some more this Fall!
tenuta M. May 22, 2012
Substituted 3 cups fresh cavolo nero (chiffonade cut), for the mushrooms, sautéed the shallots- key!- and substituted rosemary for thyme and added one more egg and 1/2 cup more milk with bit of nutmeg.

Pat E. January 8, 2012
I love a versatile recipe that inspires me to improvise. I sauted the shallots and mushrooms in the skillet left behind from breakfast bacon and skipped the procuitto. Added some great oven dried green tomatoes and used Brie instead of chevre. It was a wonderful accompaniment to baby back ribs. The Parma on top is a must.
QueenOfGreen November 6, 2011
I've just returned from the DC book launch potluck, where I brought this recipe and Wow! This is HOLIDAY good! From a girl who doesn't like bread pudding! Thank you!
JenniferF November 9, 2010
The proportions in this recipe are perfect for subbing in whatever you like: mushrooms, havarti, peas, sage were all in the fridge and worked well!
paulkog December 25, 2009
Just made this today (with bacon instead of prosciotto) and the family loved it. Parmesan added a very nice melty touch!

thank you for this, now added to my repertoire.
jc0418 October 7, 2009
my mouth is watering just reading this.. i cannot wait to make it!
kitchengardener October 6, 2009
this was definitely a do again-
i did substitute half and half for the milk and cream
and crisp bacon for prosciutto
we have tried lots of similar ones but this is a good combination of easy and unique flavors - we'll make this one for the holidays!
barr October 6, 2009
I made this tonight with roasted butternut squash instead of the mushrooms and ricotta instead of the goat's cheese and it was FANTASTIC! Toasting the bread makes a welcome difference and the prosciutto is key.
Oui, C. October 3, 2009
This really does sound outstanding, and it's a beautiful too. A perfect Fall/Winter dish, I can't wait to make it!
Rohit M. October 2, 2009
I'm not a huge fan of bread pudding, but this one sounds awesome! I agree with A&M, toasting the bread crumbs is a nice touch.