Should You Cover Bread Pudding When Baking?

Bread pudding is exactly what it sounds like, but trust us, it is much less weird than it sounds. The pudding is made with a heavenly rich custard which is used to soak stale pieces of bread and then baked in the oven until nice and soft on the inside and delicately crispy on the outside.

Now, it's not every day you use a recipe that actually requires stale bread, but it's for good reason! Traditionally, this old recipe was used as a way to reduce food waste in the kitchen, but now many bakers prefer to use stale bread because, in theory, when bread is stale, it might absorb more liquid than fresh bread (via Baking Bites). Some bakers will even buy delicious loaves of bread and purposely leave them out to stale.

It is most commonly baked in a large deep rimmed baking pan like the kind used for fudgy brownies or sheet cakes. But when it comes to baking, bread pudding should not be left unprotected.

Better use aluminum

Here's the deal, bread pudding should have the texture and flavor of a sweet pudding on the inside with the lovely addition of crusty bread on the outside, but this balancing act of textures may be tough to achieve, and unfortunately before the inside of your pudding is finished baking the outer layer is often left burnt and dry.

Masterclass recommends covering your bread pudding with aluminum foil to protect the top from burning and removing it about 15 minutes before the end of the baking time so that the top can become appropriately crispy. The addition of aluminum foil helps the pudding retain moisture while baking in the oven and may even cause the dessert to steam itself (via Whirlpool).

This is a particularly good technique for bread pudding which needs the added moisture to retain its custard's integrity. Bread pudding is a classic and relatively easy-to-make dessert that is sure to please both bread and pudding lovers alike, but you must not let the bread dry out or you'll be left with more stale bread than when you started.