Butternut Bread Pudding

After the holidays, I often find my freezer bread stash full. What's a freezer bread stash, you say? Every time I find myself with an extra bun, a crushed slice or two of brioche, or the lonely ends of a loaf of sandwich bread, I put them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer until I have enough to make bread pudding. Versatile and delicious, bread pudding can be the star of breakfast, brunch, or even dessert.

This particular version relies on the addition of pureed butternut squash (or pumpkin) for added depth and flavor. Why should the holidays get all the yummy things? A bevy of spices that would be at home in your favorite pies and a custard worthy of the name help make things perfect. Don't skip the step where you let the bread soak up all that yummy custard - it's very important.

I'm a fan of serving this bread pudding in the morning with a drizzle of maple syrup and sliced pears. Feel free to take your own favorites and dress it up or just grab a spoon and dig in!

Butternut Bread Pudding

  • 5 cups day-old bread, cut or torn into 1" pieces
  • ¾ stick butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups butternut or pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Toss the bread pieces with the melted butter in a bowl; set aside.

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients (except the coarse sugar) in another bowl, then pour the puree/egg mixture over the bread. Toss to coat the bread well. Let it sit, covered, for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator to let the custard absorb into the bread.

Transfer the mixture to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish, sprinkle evenly with the coarse sugar, and bake until the custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

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