A Savory Bread Pudding recipe with the classic ham and cheese combination. A beautiful and hearty brunch, but also great for any meal. Perfect for a crowd.
We’ve been hearing all week that it’s Mother’s Day this weekend, which left me and Jonathan scratching our heads because it’s only March… it seemed too early for us to be fretting about getting our own mothers flowers and a card. Of course, it turns out that the UK Mother’s Day is in March while American Mother’s Day is in May.
“I get an extra day off every year!” I exclaimed to Jonathan, which prompted him to look up the date for his second Father’s Day. Sadly, for him, Father’s Day in the UK is the same day as Father’s Day in the US. Too bad.
BUT since we are an equal opportunity household, we decided to make the UK Mother’s Day date into PARENTS’ DAY! I think the only one that loses out here might be baby Milo, so I’m thinking ahead and saving him the trouble of figuring what to do for us by putting together this Ham and Cheese Classic Savory Bread Pudding recipe since we wouldn’t mind having this every Parents’ Day (and whenever else he feels nice)…
Bread pudding is one of my favorite comfort foods, though I typically only see sweet bread puddings at restaurants. A savory bread pudding is a real treat, so if you can’t find any on the menus, you’ll need to give this recipe a try! Since the main ingredient makes use of stale bread, I like to think this dish is sustainable too ;)
This Ham and Cheese Classic Savory Bread Pudding has texture to please any palette: if you like a good easy crunch, get a piece from the corner, or if you like a soft chewy bite, aim for the middle.
Regardless of which part of the bread pudding you’re cutting into, you’ll probably think each bite is more addicting than the last! I guess there is a reason ham and cheese is a classic.
Happy “Parents’ Day” to all the moms and dads out there!
Savory Bread Pudding - Ham and Cheese Classic
- 1 medium-sized loaf crusty bread (350 grams) (I used a loaf of sourdough bread, day old bread is best)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (15 milliliters)
- 4-6 small shallots (100 grams)
- 10 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk (475 milliliters)
- 2 cups heavy cream (475 milliliters)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 4 ounces sliced cooked ham (115 grams) - cut into thin strips
- 1 handful fresh thyme - chopped (remove any woody stems first)
- 3/4 cup grated mature cheddar cheese (85 grams)
- 1/2 cup grated mature cheddar cheese (55 grams) (for topping)
- coarse ground black pepper (for topping)
Preheat the oven to 350 / 175 degrees. Lightly oil a 10-inch x 10-inch (23-cm x 23-cm) or a 9-inch x 13-inch (23-cm x 36-cm) baking dish.
Cut the bread into 1-1/2-inch cubes. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the salt, milk, cream, pepper and nutmeg.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Add in the shallots, ham, thyme and 3/4 cup of cheese and mix well. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5-10 minutes for the bread to soak in the custard.
Carefully tip everything into the prepared pan. The custard should come up to the top of the pan, but a few pieces of bread should be sticking out. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Grind a little black pepper on top.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour. The bread pudding is done when the custard is set and no longer runny in the middle. Test it by sticking in a butter knife in the middle to check the texture. If the top of the bread pudding gets too dark before the custard is set, cover with a piece of foil and continue baking.
Serve the bread pudding warm.
Recipe adapted from the Tartine Cookbook.