Savory Bread Pudding – how to use up leftover bread

Savory Bread Pudding - A great way to use up leftover bread! | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

When we wrote our first book we were testing dozens of loaves a week, and despite our healthy appetites, we just couldn’t consume all that we baked. Our neighbors were happy to take some of the bread, but there was more than a city block could consume, so we started making all kinds of recipes using up the leftovers. There are beautiful salads and puddings that are perfect for leftover (even stale) bread. In the New ABin5 we added this Savory Bread Pudding, which can be made with just about any loaf you bake. Well, I may have found the exception…I tried this recipe with some leftover Panettone and my very opinionated and vocal family requested that I not use that particular bread again for this. My husband described it as Thanksgiving stuffing, but richer. I liked it, but I was alone. The panettone does make exquisite sweet bread pudding however. They all agreed that peasant bread and/or challah is the way to go. The peasant and challah breads allow the flavors of the caramelized onions, spinach, spices and cheese to shine through. It is perfect for breakfast (a little bacon in the mix would be fabulous) or as a side dish with dinner.

This week I got a chance to bake with Elizabeth Ries and Chris Egert on KSTP-TV’s show Twin Cities Live. They are great sports and we had fun tossing pizzas together, one of them is a bit more skilled at the toss, but I won’t mention names.

Savory Bread Pudding

from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

1 pound day-old bread – Peasant Bread (page 94) or Challah Bread (page 296), cubed.

5 large eggs

4 cups whole milk

2 cups half-and-half

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 cup chevre or cream cheese, cut in small pieces

1/2 cup caramelized onions

3/4 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen (thawed and well drained)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

To make the savory pudding:

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Caramelizing Onions on the Stovetop | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Caramelize the onions and let them cool as you mix up the savory custard. Whisk the eggs, milk, half-and-half, nutmeg, salt, pepper and thyme in a bowl, set aside.

Savory Bread Pudding Before Baking | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Layer the bread, chevre, onions, spinach and cheddar in a 3-Quart Baking Dish. (I used an extra deep Emile Henry 12-Inch Pie Dish.)

Savory Bread Pudding Before Baking | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Pour the custard over the bread and other fillings.

Savory Bread Pudding in a Pie Plate Before Baking | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Allow the custard to soak into the bread for about 15 minutes. Press the bread down into the custard to make sure it is all soaked well.

Savory Bread Pudding - A great way to use up leftover bread! | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Place it on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour. Tent the pudding with foil if it seems to be browning too quickly.

Note: Red Star Yeast (Lesaffre Corp) is a sponsor of BreadIn5, LLC and its promotional activities, and supplied yeast for recipe testing.

38 thoughts to “Savory Bread Pudding – how to use up leftover bread”

  1. This looks delicious! I would love if there was a “pin it” option so I could pin these beautiful recipes for later! Or is it just not showing up on the mobile site?

    1. I’m not the Pinterest expert on our team, but doesn’t the “Pin It” option arise from your end, whether it’s on a desktop computer or a phone? You just put a “Pin It” tag on your browser. Let me know if this doesn’t help.

  2. Yeah, if you’re on your laptop or desktop you can have a “pin it” button on your browser, but I often access the internet through my phone, where that’s not an option. As a blogger you can choose to have “pin it” and other share buttons (like a Facebook share button or a tweet button) added to all of your posts, which is what most blogs do now, it just makes it easier to share or save the post to social media sites. It’s just a plug-in you can add to your blog. Just a suggestion! I would share a lot of your posts if you had share buttons! 🙂

  3. And… I just switched to the “desktop theme” for your site and you do have share buttons on the left column, it just wasn’t visible on the mobile site! 🙂 So, problem solved, now I’ll pin this!

  4. LOVE baking your bread! (artisan bread in five minutes) I use the master recipe starting on page 26. I am buying my own grain mill to mill my own fresh organic flour. WILL THE RECIPE STILL WORK? OR DO I NEED TO ADJUST THE WATER AMOUNT?
    Thank you! and thank you for coming up with this amazing recipe!

      1. Thank you for your quick reply! I just ordered your book “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day”, along with another one of your books. So excited! We were going to have to stop eating breads and other things made with processed flour due to health reasons… But not anymore! Oh-Yea! Uh-huh! Can’t wait!

  5. Dear Zoe,

    I wanted to write this message on your timeline but couldn’t find that option on your page, or on your blog (then again I’m very low-tech so that could be the reason)
    Your beautiful book was my companion during a recent sleepless night populated with cold and flu on all sides. I believe I read it cover to cover, it was all I could do not to disrupt an already agitated night and turn on the ovens and start baking bread at some ung-dly hour Your pumpkin-and oatmeal description of a January Minnesota kitchen sent chills down my spine (hot weather baby, what do you expect? Reading about Jeff’s bus trip in Morocco, on the other hand, warmed me up: That’s where I hail from!).

    Question for you if I may: I have alll but sworn off the baking of Challah as too rich to accompany a meal. But your no-knead recipe intrigues me. So sorry I just can’t enjoy bread made with lots of eggs, oil and honey, as I and my guests still have to contend with a whole meal (including dessert!) So let me ask you: What is the least amount of these three ingredients I can use in the Challah dough that would make it good but wouldn’t encroach on its “bread dough” quality? Since I have never made a bread dough that didn’t require kneading, I don’t want to tweak your recipe without your guidance. If indeed the eggs, oil and sweetener are reduced, what then are the adjustments of the flour and water?

    Looking forward to your response. PS: how come you look so beautiful and so thin? Not fair!

    1. Zoe’s off this month (we alternate by month)! Oil eggs, and honey don’t contribute that much to “bread dough” quality; that comes from wheat flour and water, forming gluten–which is what creates the stretch and the flavor of wheat breads. But challah’s flavor comes from eggs and honey, and it’s richness from oil or butter. So it’s a matter of degrees. I’d go in steps. You can halve the oil, eggs, and honey and see what you think (you’ll have to experiment with the water though, since it’ll be too dry if you just drop those. As a ball-park estimate, I’d say you need to increase the water by 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

  6. Hi! I have Artisan Bread in 5 minutes and Hethy Bread in 5 minutes….I want to thank you for writing the healthy bread book, with whole grain and gluten free options. My question is if you have ever made your breads with an “ancient grain” like Emmer….if so, do you have a recipe for using this type of grain? My understanding is that it has gluten but far less than modern wheat.


  7. Thanks for your quick response! Ha! I must have missed that one….I was also wondering if you have a wheat free bread that uses oat flour, or if you could recommend how to substitute oat flour in a recipe…for example, could I make oat and emmer bread? Thanks again…I really love your books, and now I’m considering getting the New ABin5 for the new recipes!

    1. We have a chapter’s worth of wheat-free stuff in all our titles except the very first, but we haven’t experimented a lot with oat flour. I’m guessing you can swap it for sorghum in our recipes, at least up to about a cup’s worth.

  8. I found the Emmer bread recipe! Do you have a post about substituting non-wheat flours for all purpose? I.e. A formula for combining flours/starches/xantham gum?

    1. Your best resource is the gluten-free chapter in that same book, but we also have recipes here on the site, check “Gluten-Free” on the right side and click on that, you’ll get a listing of all our gluten-free recipes we’ve put on the site.

  9. My question is not about the above recipe. It’s about your challah dough. I have never made dough without kneading it, but with your beautiful book’s help I intend to start. I love the idea of challah but I’m not willing to bake (or eat, or serve) a bread whose components are much closer to cake than to bread. So my question is: if I would like to reduce the eggs, sweetener and oils, how much “reduction” can I get away with? And in this case, how do I adjust the flour and the liquids in the challah recipe so I still come away with a cohesive dough?

    1. In general, you’d have to replace the liquids with water, so you’ll have to experiment. The sweetener won’t be much change, because we use honey, which has water content. But if you halved the eggs, let’s say, you’d have to increase the water by about the volume of two eggs (a little less than a quarter cup). The oil (I’m guessing) should be replaced with an equal volume of water. Or a little less.

      But this is going to take some experimentation…

      1. I understand this. So this leaves one question: do I increase the flour? In the original first step (mixing, even before resting stage), how should I expect the mixture to look (lumpy, liquids, firm, other)? Thanks do much Jeff!

  10. Hi! Thank you Jeff and Zoe for all the work you do! I own the original ABin5 cookbook and love it. Would love to invest in the Healthy version soon. Lately my family and I have been enjoying the whole wheat as a free form loaf with warm soups, makes a great dinner! I am a busy mom of one year old twins so I apologize I didn’t have time to do an extensive search but have you experimented at all with using sprouted flour? I would like to try to make the 100% whole wheat dough using sprouted flour sold on king arthur’s website. This flour is 1% lower in protein than their reg. whole wheat, so I’m assuming maybe less liquid?

    1. We haven’t tested with sprouted wheat flour yet, but I assume you’re right, you’ll need a little less water. Not sure how much.

  11. Hi, I’ve got a question about the malt powder called for in the recipe for English Granary-Style Bread, in the original ABin5 book, p. 91. I went to the King Arthur site, and I have a choice between diastatic malt powder, non-diastatic malt powder, and malted milk powder. Which should I be purchasing? Thanks!

    1. Slight preference for non-diastatic malt powder. You don’t need the malted milk mix, and KAF says that diastatic MP can create a too-wet consistency in the dough. I’m not convinced I see that when you use this amount, but they’re the experts.

  12. Dear Jeff,
    I have had your book for quite awhile and have tried numerous recipes. My family, friends and I have enjoyed many very good breads thanks to you and Zoe.
    My husband has been brewing his own beer and has asked me to make bread from the grains he has steeped.
    My first attempt, I used the Vollkornbrot recipe on page 83 substituting the steeped grains for the wheat berries and rye. The dough ended up too wet. I did used a lot of flour when forming a loaf and the bread was still good. The longer the dough sat in the fridge the more watery it became.
    My second attempt I combined the Vollkorbrot with the Bavarian-Style Whole Grain Pumpernickel page 115 & Bradley Benn’s Beer Bread page 120. I decreased the water and the dough a lot easier to work with and the bread was delicious.
    Tonight my husband brewed an oatmeal stout and I loosely followed Beth’s Seeded Oat page 147. We will see what happens.
    I you ever experimented with using steeped grains?
    Do you have any suggestions?
    Tami in Mpls

    1. Haven’t tried it; I used to be a brewer but haven’t done it in years. Many people though have told me that they’ve had the same good experience you did. Some steeped grains have indigestible husks and aren’t meant to be eaten but it sounds like yours were not this way. That the grains had been de-husked.

  13. Jeff and Zoe, have you considered adding a forum to your site? Your amazing books and unique techniques have really seemed to create a community of people whole love this approach to baking. I think your work could be greatly furthered by giving everyone that visits this site regularly a place to share their own experiences/results with bi5.

  14. Thank you for the recipe. I had leftover roasted red pepper fougasse that I didn’t want to waste. It was awesome! Thanks for always posting new recipes.

  15. I am wondering if you can recommend a good pizza peel I have been shopping on Amazon and I’m not sure which one to select. Wood? Bamboo? Metal? Presently I am using parchment paper

    Thank you.

  16. Hi! I’ve gotten a little hooked on baking bread this way, so I have several ends of loaves I didn’t quite finish before I started a new one. This bread pudding looks good! Can you tell me approximately how many cups a pound of day-old bread would be? Thanks!

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