Save all that stale bread in the freezer until you have enough to make this holiday bread pudding.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups milk or unsweetened plant based alternative
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
6-7 cups cubed stale bread, croissants, pannetone, etc. (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup dried cherries
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F and then pour the melted butter along the bottom of the loaf pan. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar overtop. Line the sides of the pan with cut parchment.
Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, zest, vanilla, spices and salt in a large bowl.
Place bread into the bowl and stir until everything is well coated in the custard. Fold in dried cherries and nuts (if using). Let stand for 10 minutes to soak in the liquid.
Spoon into prepared pan, pressing down if needed, and any custard remaining, pour overtop.
Bake bread pudding for 1 hour or until a puffed-up golden brown and cake tester comes out almost clean, with a few crumbs.
Let stand for at least 10 minutes to allow it to set before serving. Place a baking sheet or serving platter upside down onto a loaf pan and invert the bread pudding upside down so that caramel sauce on the bottom soaks down overtop. Wait another 10 minutes before removing the loaf pan, slice and serve. Enjoy!