The Bread Swap You Need For Better Bread Pudding

Is there any dessert on earth more endlessly comforting than a well-seasoned, rustic bread pudding? Most gastronomes would be hard-pressed to come up with a more delightful use for their stale, leftover bread than this sumptuous and steamy treat — whether they like it sweet or savory.

As we enter the colder months and start to crave indulgent comfort foods, many home cooks are looking for ways to take their autumnal dishes up to the next level — from earthy roasted squash recipes to various iconic pumpkin-spice dishes, including cake pops, cocktails, lattes, and more. 

If you're serious about improving your fall eating itinerary, you'll want to know the bread swap that will give you better bread pudding. Why settle for a sub-par, mushy, or sickly-sweet version of this beloved, cozy dish? We've got just the tip you need for creating a hearty, warming bread pudding that is just the right balance of savory and sweet.

Sidestep lackluster bread pudding with a baguette

We've all had that mouthful of bread pudding that offers up a one-dimensional, sugary flavor with a texture reminiscent of baby food. Just one bite of a sodden and saccharine pudding is enough to turn some off of the stuff forever. However, for those who have had a bland and joyless bread pudding experience, there's hope in stale baguettes.

So, why use an old baguette in your next bread pudding? One benefit of using baguettes for your bread pudding endeavors is that baguettes tend to go stale quite quickly, especially if you live in a one or two-person household. A dried-out baguette will not only readily absorb your custardy pudding base of cream, milk, and eggs, but will also provide unique textural contrast and a slightly savory flavor profile, thanks to its thick layer of chewy crust and the associated lacto-fermentation process (via CAB Direct). While strong arguments can be made for challah, brioche, and even croissants, (via Masterclass), the baguette is a perfectly absorbent, texturally interesting addition to your next autumnal bread pudding endeavors, such as this Winter Squash Bread and Butter Pudding.

Looking for more reasons to cash in on some delicious artisan baguettes? Keep in mind, any extra bread you have on hand that will not fit in the pudding dish can be transformed into delights like french toast, bruschetta, stuffed baguette, and more.