Overnight Bread Pudding
This is our standard holiday brunch. Every holiday. I love it because it's super easy to make ahead of time, super easy to pop in the oven in the morning, and feels so special and decadent despite being a basic throw together recipe.
I use my trusty bag of bread remnants (all the little end pieces of bread/pastry/donuts/baked anythings/stale bread/waffles etc in a large resealable bag in the freezer), which means the "bread" in this bread pudding changes depending on what we have salvaged over time. This Christmas I can tell you there will be chunks of vegan challah from Easter, chunks of a variety of cinnamon rolls including the apple cranberry ones from earlier in the fall, bits of waffles and pancakes, chunks of coffee cakes and snack cakes...all kinds of bread-y deliciousness.
The custard is a simple remaking of the classic egg-y version, made with dairy-free milks and my favourite egg substitute--sweetened condensed coconut milk. If you can't get your hands on a can of that, no fear, I've made it many times without. It's not as rich but still delivers. I like to serve this topped with fresh berries and mint, and a dollop of whipped coconut cream, drizzled with maple syrup. Bring on brunch!
Stale bread or bread remnants cut into chunks, enough to fill a 9 X 12 casserole dish (I like to heap mine because it will compact a bit as it soaks up the custard)
1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk
1 can evaporated coconut milk (or use full fat canned coconut milk)
2 cups non-dairy milk of choice, I use unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch black salt (optional, it gives an eggy-smell to the custard)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs melted coconut oil or butter
Spray your casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray of choice. Fill the dish with your bread remnants. This doesn't have to be fussy, but I like to distribute the bread evenly through the pan and, if using a variety of breads, mix up the varieties so they are even throughout the dish. I also like to make sure there are no major cavities between the pieces, especially if they are still frozen (which mine pretty much always are).
Using a blender, combine all other ingredients. You can use a mixer or whisk, I use a blender because it's super quick. Pour the custard directly over the bread remnants, making sure to distribute the mixture evenly and cover all the bread well. It needs to be about 3/4 of the way full so if you are finding the bread is slurping it up too much, go ahead and add more of the non-dairy milk directly on the casserole until you have the right ratio of custard to bread. Remember it is soaking overnight so it may look like too much liquid but by morning, it'll be the perfect amount.
I like to cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap, compacting the bread into the custard mixture even more. Place in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove the pudding from the fridge and then set aside to make your topping. In a small mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, and butter or coconut oil until the mixture resembles crumbs. Place aside.
Bake your bread pudding casserole for approximately 40 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle your streusel topping over the top of the bread pudding. Finish baking for the final 20 or so minutes, until the top is golden and the centre doesn't wobble a lot when you shake your pan.
*the possibilities are endless here. You can add breakfast sausage or cooked bacon (I usually mix it in around the bread before the custard is added, so there are surprise bites of meat throughout. You can also add things like chocolate chips, berries, dried fruits. I've added 1/4 cup of rum to the custard as well...it's super forgiving and works for any crowd. You could even use your gluten-free remnants for a top 8 free brunch option.