Overnight Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is warm comfort food that can be served for breakfast, brunch and even dessert (my boys enjoyed decadent chocolate bread pudding at recent dinner buffet). And because it's incredibly easy to prepare, you should keep a good “wow them” recipe in your arsenal.
This recipe is particularly great for the holidays because the season often brings overnight guests – with this version, you can prep ahead and bake the bread pudding the next morning while the coffee is brewing. The cinnamon-laced, moist French bread is embellished with mixed dried berries; I chose a blend of cherries, blueberries and cranberries because I like their sweet and tart chewiness. You could easily use just one variety of berry or use raisins or currants. You can even add semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
Regular bread pudding can have over 500 calories, 20 grams of fat and 700 mg of sodium per serving. By choosing fat free milk and fat free sweetened condensed milk, and by swapping 2 egg whites for 2 whole eggs, I was able to shave 100 calories and 300 mg of sodium per serving and I got the fat down to just 2 grams per generous portion.
Note: if you don’t want to wait overnight, let the bread soak in the milk mixture for at least 30 minutes before baking. Also, day-old bread works best because it acts like a sponge. If you have a fresh loaf, cube it and wait as long as possible before soaking it in the milk mixture.
Overnight Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Mixed Dried Berries
8 ounces French bread (or 1/2 loaf), preferably day-old, cut or broken up into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup mixed dried berries (dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries)
Arrange the bread cubes in a shallow baking dish (about 11x7 or 13x9 inches). Arrange the dried berries all over the top.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Pour the mixture all over the bread and berries. Press down to cover the bread with the milk mixture. Sprinkle the brown sugar all over the top of the bread mixture. Cover with plastic, press down slightly to cover the bread with the milk mixture. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the plastic from the baking dish and bake the bread pudding for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the milk mixture is set.