We eat a lot of bread around here. Sadly, it seems, nobody is willing to be the one who eats the ends though. With my mom’s words, “waste not, want not” banging around in my head, several years ago I found a solution to the never-ending conundrum of what one can do with copious amounts of less desirable bread parts. Here’s my solution, Scrappy Bread Pudding, as the kids have affectionately come to call it.
I do love to make it (and eat it!) and, honestly, it’s never exactly the same twice but, the recipe has never failed me so I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!
There is no right or wrong here. Add what you’ve got and what you want to get rid of. Less than a handful of raisins left? Chuck ‘em in! An assortment of mixed nuts languishing in the snack drawer? Chop ‘em and add ‘em in too! Maybe you want to be more intentional and go for a tropical vibe? How about some coconut and dried pineapple! Let your imagination run wild and get some of those bothersome odds and end out of your way.
5-6 cups bread odds + ends (I draw the line at mold but pretty much anything else goes)
4-6 tbsp butter, melted (you could add more)
2 cups milk (give or take)
¾ cup sugar (or thereabouts)
4-5 eggs, beaten (more makes it eggy-er and more custard like)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (and maybe some more)
1 tsp vanilla extract (don’t bother to measure)
Go ahead and gather any dried fruit like raisins or apricots (chopped up small), nuts and any more spices that you think might be delicious - nutmeg or cardamom perhaps - that you’d like to throw in.
Cut the bread into 1” cubes or tear it up into bite-sized pieces - this is not time to start being precise. Let it sit out overnight to dry out a bit if you have the time.
Preheat the oven to 350°
Grease an 8” x 8* baking dish (or bigger if you have a lot of bread) and put the bread in there. Pour the melted butter over the bread. Toss any dried fruit or nuts you want to add on top.
Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl then add the milk, sugar, spices and vanilla. Whisk it all up really well then pour it over the bread.
Use a fork to smoosh the bread into the egg mixture making sure it all gets soaked. You can leave it like this in the fridge overnight if you want to enjoy it straight out of the oven tomorrow morning or, you can bake it now for about 45 minutes at 350°.
If you ended up using a larger baking dish because you had more bread you may need to bake it a few minutes longer. It’s done when it’s golden brown and the top springs back when you press lightly on it.
Let it cool for a while before serving it (or don’t!). We like to pour some maple syrup over it or, if we happen to have some, we might even enjoy it with some vanilla ice cream on top!