If you’re a regular reader around here, you might recall that in 2015, I failed miserably at a Bananas Foster bread pudding recipe. It was going so perfectly, but I just had too much moisture going on and it was a big huge soppy mess. The top layer was so good, but under that? Awful. Bananas Foster soup. Not as delicious as you would hope from the sounds of it. I vowed to try again, but where I think I went completely wrong was too many components (there was a brown sugar rum sauce 😍) and flavors going together without ever actually trying to make a simple bread pudding first. Baby steps, right?
So that’s where we are today: starting small and simple and just sticking to bananas. Let’s master the method first and then get fancy with the ingredients.
Bread pudding: another one of those things that sounds weird but is really quite tasty. Obviously, bread is a major component; but that bread is held together with a sweet creamy custard. It’s baked to perfection into a sturdy-yet-very-moist, you-can-still-cut-into-it type of dessert. And the best part? My banana bread pudding isn’t super sweet, so you can totally eat it for breakfast and not feel like you’re making a meal choice that will ruin your day. You’ll sweeten naturally with some mashed ripe bananas and my favorite way to bring rich sweetness to baked goods: a bit of brown sugar.
You’re also going to use Greek yogurt (along with milk and eggs) for the custard in this bread pudding. Whenever I can get some extra protein into my life, I choose it. More great choices!
When it comes to bread pudding, many people like to whip it up as a way to utilize stale bread. While you’re more than welcome to use stale bread (see notes in the recipe for adjustments), I actually used fresh bread for this bread pudding, and it still turned out fantastically. My bread of choice was eureka!® Organic Bread, because it is absolutely jam-packed with flavor and wholesome goodness. As a texture lover, I prefer bread with “things in it,” much like I prefer crunchy peanut butter to creamy, chunky brownies over basic ones, and homemade granola with chewy bits of tropical paradise. With eureka!® Organic Bread, I got the best of both worlds: choosing a wholesome ingredient without compromising taste or wow-factor.
Look at all that texture on the crust and in the bread itself!!
You’ll need 10 slices of bread. Feel free to spread the rest of the loaf with peanut butter, jam, jelly, lemon curd, butter, anything and everything to get it in your belly. That bread is a texture lover’s dream!
Once your bread is soaked in custard and baked to perfection, you now have the choice of eating it warm or cold. Personally, we prefer it cold, but in a bowl, warmed up with a little extra splash of milk sounds like a perfect nightcap, especially on a cool summer night. Or with ice cream! Or more sliced bananas!
This banana bread pudding is just the perfect mix between something like monkey bread and an actual pudding. Moist and flavorful bites of banana custard sweetened bread, scattered with crunchy toasted pecans and spiced with cinnamon. And those bites with toasted bread pieces on top? Those ones are my favorite!
I think we’ve perfected a basic bread pudding. Take that, 2015!
- 10 slices eureka!® Organic Bread, cut into cubes (approximately 10 cups)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup milk (any)*
- 3 very ripe bananas, 2 mashed and 1 sliced
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 7x11 (or similar size) casserole dish lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes and chopped pecans (reserve a couple Tablespoons or so for sprinkling on top, if desired). Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, milk, the 2 mashed bananas, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt until completely combined. Pour mixture over bread cubes and stir gently until all of the bread is covered.
- Pour coated bread into prepared dish and top with reserved chopped pecans (if you saved them) and banana slices. Bake for 33-35 minutes until top and edges just start to brown or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving, or cool completely and chill in the refrigerator to serve cold. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, up to 5 days. To serve warm leftovers, reheat individual servings in the microwave.
What’s your favorite bread pudding recipe? Share it with me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!
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