By Jacquelyn Thompson, That Little Buff Chef
It’s the week of Christmas, your calendar is filled with holiday parties, an evening gathering at Grandma’s, and you may or may not be expected to bring a dish to your new BF’s parents for the annual Christmas Family brunch, and for some reason you swore you still had time to get in your lifts, make a dish to bring as promised to EVERY Single one of the obligated get together, and make it all look effortless right through the year end.
Never fear. This one is a bake all take all.
Grab a loaf and get moving fam. Brunch? French toast casserole. Dessert? Oh she’s that too. Sound familiar? This baked repurposed bread babe is almost as much of an effortless multi-tasking, hot little dish she just may be your dessert recipe spirit animal (if there is such a thing. Let’s make it a thing!)
And to be honest, there’s always been something subtly impressive to me about how much of an art form bread puddings are, as they are one that for some reason always seems to elicit a response in the manner of “Gasp, oh is that bread pudding?” or “YOU know how to make bread pudding?” When really, the main ingredient in this dish is already baked! It couldn’t get much easier or more impressive then, than a subtly healthy spin on this classic.
The original usually calls for:
Quite a lot of cream
Quite a lot of butter
QUITE A LOT OF SUGAR
(I’ve made professional versions calling for over a pound of both sugar and butter both and not slacking on the cream either, usually multiple quarts of the thick stuff being used too…)
And to be fair, bread is not the healthiest thing in the pantry either…
And then some eggs. (And maybe brandy for good measure.)
So, it doesn’t take much to be a little healthier, that being said this version using XTEND Pro Whey Isolate to add flavor, protein (duh), and body to the custard, makes this already genuinely a healthy little dish, and not just slightly so. Ingredients below, recipe as follows.
- 8 pieces- Reduced (45) calorie Sara Lee Honey Wheat Bread
- 2 tbsp or 24g- Brown sugar stevia blend lightly packed
- 1 Whole Egg
- 4 tbsp liquid egg-beaters
- 1 scoop XTEND Pro Whey Protein Isolate
- 1-1.5 cups Almond Milk or other alternative milk of choice, unsweetened (for the below macros the one I use is roughly 30 calories per 1 cup serving depending on the brand)
- ½ tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1 pinch of salt
- 24g Pecans (Optional)
- 16g Light Cream Cheese (Optional)
***The Nuts and cream cheese are optional, want a lighter version leave them out, want something more? Have fun with it, use chocolate and add peanut butter or chocolate chips, dried fruit like cranberries and white chocolate chunks or raisins are also common when making bread pudding. This recipe is light enough of a foundation to be able to add to it and not blow out your macros for the day.
- Cut or tear bread pieces up, lay on a sheet tray and toast in the oven until dry, slightly golden.
- Mix liquid egg, whole egg, XTEND Pro, vanilla, 24g brown sugar stevia blend (or 2 loosely packed level tablespoons), cinnamon, and a small pinch of salt. Whip into a custard.
- Add almond milk and toasted bread, folding until fully absorbed. If looks dry add ½ cup more almond m milk (I usually do, but this can vary depending on how dry the bread is, how thick the slices are if you use a different kind than suggested, etc.)
- Let fully soak and absorb almost all the liquid, then transfer to a spray greased bake proof pan.
- (At this time add ins can be incorporated such as dried fruit, cream cheese dollops, or chocolates. A little goes a long way with add ins. If using nuts, I would recommend folding them into the batter OR if using an already roasted type, add them on at the end as they can easily burn when letting the top come to golden brown.)
- Cover with foil and place in a 350’ oven for 20-25 minutes or until center no longer giggles and pudding has risen. This will vary depending on how deep a dish is being used. I made mine thinner to cut down on baking time and to keep it moist. It will rise but fall a little again after it cools.
- Remove foil and if need be, let brown on a low broil keeping close eye not to burn. If you’re concerned it may burn or that you’ll forget, you can also let it come to a brown uncovered as well but this may result in a dryer finished product so depending on how wet your pudding is, use your own judgement.
- Remove from the oven, and (if you’re a sucker for absolutely anything with syrup on it like I am) drizzle with some sugar free pancake syrup and enjoy this baked babe morning, noon, and night.
This recipe makes 9 small or 4 large servings. It can be prepared thinner or thicker depending on how deep of a pan is used and how high it is filled. It can also be adjusted using more slices of bread. If so, adjust the amount of liquid custard for more as well. This can easily be done by adding slightly more almond milk and/or egg or by simply upping the ratios of all the custard ingredients as well. I like easy serving numbers so for 4 large servings I plan for 2 slices of bread each serving. This also works well as this gives 9 smaller pieces, at just under a slice per person (cut 3x3). If you want to make more, use this as a suggested amount to go by to get an appropriate number of servings.