Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding
I think I found the skeleton of this recipe almost 14 years ago in the once free Kraft “Food & Family” magazine. I was about 25, working full time, newly married and needed some meal ideas that were cheap and easy. I had never had anything like this before and from the first time I made it – I was hooked!
A Christmas Morning Staple
Over the years, as I have tweaked into something quite different, but every time I start assembling this dish I can still picture the page at the back of the magazine that started my love for making tasty, easy meals -my way.
I always serve it Christmas morning, but am always looking for another reason to whip it up.
Breakfast Bread Pudding is GREAT because…
It’s so adaptable!
There are several things that make this recipe so great.
- BREAD use any type of bread you prefer, sweet or savory, dense or fluffy, fresh or stale.
- MEAT use any type of cooked meat you prefer
- CHEESE use any combination of cheese you love (I love adding sharp cheddar)
Cooking meats ahead in bulk and freezing really helps me get a tasty meal together in short order. ((which I have a lot of — short order that is!!))
Candied Bacon in Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding
Let’s pause and talk about bacon for a second. For a twist to your normal bacon recipe, consider making a bulk batch of oven roasted candied bacon.
Oven roasting bacon is my favorite way to cook raw bacon ((and by favorite, I mean LEAST messy and MOST crispy)). By adding brown sugar & cracked black pepper, you’ve created something that could be sold on street corners.
This easy, and addictive recipe is HERE.
So, here’s my version breakfast casserole.
I just love it! But in all honesty, I never make it exactly the same twice.
As always, this is how my dish looks when my herd is finished with it! A sure sign of deliciousness. If you know me at all, you know my peeps don’t eat yucky food just to be nice. So this HAS to be good!!
This is definitely one of those recipes that conjures up many years of meal memories with my family – from being a new wife, to a new momma — to a momma of big hairy kids who roll their eyes at me.
I hope it becomes a food memory for your family too!
Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding
- 1 loaf of brioche, cubed
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 2 c. milk, whole is preferred but any will work
- 9-10 eggs
- 1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies (optional)
- 2 c. + 1 c. (reserved) shredded sharp white cheddar
- 1 c. freshly grated parm (or an additional cup of cheddar – or another type of your favorite cheese)
- 4 oz cream cheese, cubed (optional)
- 10 oz. browned breakfast sausage (optional)
- 5 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked till crisp and chopped (optional)
- Salt & fresh ground pepper, about 1/2 t each
Spray a 9″x13″ extra deep baking dish and place about 1/2 to 2/3 of the bread cubes in the dish.
Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl, add cream, milk, s&p and whisk until smooth.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes making sure to reserve about 1&1/2 c. for later.
Spread green chilies (if used) on top of bread.
Sprinkle 2 c. of shredded cheese evenly.
Lightly press the bread down to aid in absorption of the egg mixture. Top with cream cheese (optional), breakfast sausage and bacon.
Cover and refrigerate over night along with remaining egg mixture and cheeses. Bag up the extra bread for use in the morning.**
Preheat oven to 375°.
Remove bread pudding from fridge and top with remaining bread, pour reserved egg mixture over the bread and sprinkle remaining cheeses evenly over the top.
Sprinkle a bit more s & p.
Bake on middle rack for 45 – 55 minutes – or until the center is firm, cover the bread pudding with foil about halfway through the cooking time and then remove for the last 5 minutes or so.
If you see the bread in top is getting dark at any point in the cooking process, loosely cover the dish with a foil tent until cooking is complete.
**If you want to make & serve it all at the same time, just skip the over night soaking step.
Preheat the oven to 375°, place a little more than half of the bread in the bottom of the dish.
Pour 2/3 of the egg mixture over the bread and allow it to soak into the bread for 10 minutes or so.
Add, cheeses, meats and chiles.
Top with remaining bread cubes, egg mixture, cheese and a dash of s & p.
Follow cooking instructions as detailed above.
Oh, and if you need the perfect fancy brunch drink, try this recipe for Sweet Almond Tea! It will be a hit for sure.