Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Bread pudding, also known as French Toast Casserole, is what all your cozy weekend breakfast dreams are made of. It’s basically bread soaked in a sweet and creamy custard, then baked to perfection. The edges of the bread get deliciously crispy while the inside stays moist and custard-like. It’s so much easier than cooking individual […]

The post Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Bread pudding, also known as French Toast Casserole, is what all your cozy weekend breakfast dreams are made of. It’s basically bread soaked in a sweet and creamy custard, then baked to perfection. The edges of the bread get deliciously crispy while the inside stays moist and custard-like. It’s so much easier than cooking individual slices of French toast in a skillet, and it’s a great way to use up leftover stale or day-old bread. Win-win! So let me show you how it’s done.

Originally posted 5-5-2010, updated 9-18-2021.

Close up front view of a casserole dish full of apple cinnamon bread pudding

Is Bread Pudding for Breakfast or Dessert?

There are many, many different versions of bread pudding, some of which are downright decadent. You’ll even see it on the dessert menu in a lot of restaurants across the south (usually drenched with a delicious bourbon sauce). The version I’m presenting here is the kind I grew up eating for breakfast. It has milk instead of heavy cream, fewer eggs, and a lot less sugar. The addition of applesauce to the custard also keeps things a little lighter and more toward the breakfast end of the spectrum. All of that said, I would still consider it a sweet, special occasion type of breakfast.

What Kind of Bread to Use for Bread Pudding

It’s important to use a hearty bread for bread pudding rather than a soft white sandwich bread. Softer bread will disintegrate in the custard and won’t give you the nice toasty edges on top. Bread pudding is the perfect way to use up leftovers from your loaves of Italian bread, baguettes, or any hearty artisan loaf you may have. And if you don’t have enough leftover bread from one loaf, tear that bread into pieces, pop it into a freezer bag, and save it in the freezer for later when you do have more bread!

What Else Can I Add?

The classic apple cinnamon flavor of this bread pudding is a great base to add even more flavor. You could toss in a handful of walnuts or pecans, or maybe even some dried cranberries. If you want more texture in your bread pudding, try chopping up a fresh apple and stirring that into the mix. If you want to go more toward the dessert route, you could top your bread pudding with a cream cheese icing or caramel drizzle! 

Overhead view of a piece of bread pudding on a plate next to the casserole dish

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding (also known as French Toast Casserole) is a rich and sweet breakfast treat or after-dinner dessert!
 
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 377kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups bread pieces $1.98
  • 2 cups milk $0.80
  • 4 large eggs $0.84
  • 1.5 cups applesauce, divided $0.89
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28
  • 1/3 cup sugar $0.11
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional) $0.36

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. If your bread is not already in pieces, tear or cut the bread into one-inch pieces.
  • Spread the bread pieces out on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes to slightly dry the bread. After baking, let the bread cool for a few minutes to allow the remaining steam to evaporate.
  • While the bread is drying in the oven, prepare the apple cinnamon custard. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, 1 cup of applesauce, vanilla extract, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Transfer the par-baked bread to a large bowl, add the raisins, then pour the apple cinnamon custard over top. Stir to combine and allow the bread to soak for at least 15 minutes to absorb all of the custard.
  • Meanwhile, use 1 teaspoon of the butter to grease the inside of a two-quart casserole dish. Transfer the soaked bread to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Cut the remaining butter into chunks and sprinkle it over the bread pudding.
  • Bake the bread pudding for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF.
  • After removing the bread pudding from the oven, add the remaining ½ cup applesauce in dollops on top of the bread pudding. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 410mg | Fiber: 4g

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding

How to Make Bread Pudding – Step by Step Photos

Bread being cut into squares

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Tear your bread into one-inch pieces. You’ll need about 6 cups of torn bread.

Torn bread pieces on a baking sheet

Place the torn bread pieces on a large baking sheet and bake in the preheated 325ºF oven for about 10 minutes to dry it out. Let the bread pieces cool for a few minutes after baking. This will allow the rest of the steam to evaporate and dry the bread further. 

Custard ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

While the bread is drying, prepare the custard. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups milk, 4 large eggs, 1 cup applesauce, ⅓ cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Custard being poured over bread and raisins in a bowl

Place the dried bread cubes in a large bowl along with ⅓ cup raisins. Pour the custard mixture over top and then give everything a stir until all of the custard has been absorbed by the bread.

Bread soaked in custard in a bowl with a spatula

Set the mixture aside and allow the bread to soak in the custard for at least 15 minutes.

Bread pudding in the casserole dish topped with butter

Use one teaspoon (out of the 2 Tbsp total) to grease the inside of a two-quart casserole dish. Transfer the bread pudding mixture to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and sprinkle them over the bread pudding.

Baked bread pudding in the dish, applesauce being added on top

Bake the bread pudding in the 325ºF oven for about 45 minutes, or until it’s brown and crispy on top and the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. After baking, spoon the remaining ½ cup applesauce over the top. 

close up side view of french toast casserole

Cut into six pieces and serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top!

maple syrup being poured over a slice of apple cinnamon bread pudding

The post Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A Baker’s 7 Secrets for Better Dinner Rolls

I can’t do Thanksgiving without some really good rolls on the table. Since the season is just about upon us, I tackled the concept in the most recent episode of Bake it Up a Notch, diving deep into all things dinner rolls and learning a lot along the w…

I can’t do Thanksgiving without some really good rolls on the table. Since the season is just about upon us, I tackled the concept in the most recent episode of Bake it Up a Notch, diving deep into all things dinner rolls and learning a lot along the way! This year, on top of all of the recipes (and there are many!), I wanted to share all of my favorite tips, tricks, and techniques for baking all kinds of beautiful dinner rolls. So right in time for fall and holiday baking, here are my seven top secrets for perfect dinner rolls, every time.

1. Pick the Right Dough for Crusty vs. Fluffy Results

Dinner rolls can be made from either lean or enriched bread doughs. Enriched doughs are recipes that contain “enrichments” like butter, eggs, milk, and sugar. Examples of enriched doughs include brioche, challah, and Parker House rolls. Lean doughs contain no enrichments—they are just made of flour, water, yeast, and salt. Examples of lean doughs include baguettes, ciabatta, and plain varieties of sourdough. When choosing your ideal roll recipe, remember: If you’re looking for a fluffier roll, opt for an enriched dough. For a crustier roll, choose a lean dough.

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Pumpkin Bread

Are you guys ready for pumpkin season? I sure hope so because today I am sharing the BEST Pumpkin Bread recipe. Opening a can of pumpkin is the first sign of fall at our house, I don’t wait for the leaves to change colors because I LOVE pumpkin a…

Are you guys ready for pumpkin season? I sure hope so because today I am sharing the BEST Pumpkin Bread recipe. Opening a can of pumpkin is the first sign of fall at our house, I don’t wait for the leaves to change colors because I LOVE pumpkin and can never wait that long. When…

The post Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Classic Zucchini Bread

This Classic Zucchini Bread is a staple for the late summer and early fall! Packed with zucchini and chopped pecans, this easy quick bread is especially good with a bit of butter and a drizzle of honey. We started pulling out the fall decor bins from our storage area in the basement, which just seemed …

The post Classic Zucchini Bread appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

This Classic Zucchini Bread is a staple for the late summer and early fall! Packed with zucchini and chopped pecans, this easy quick bread is especially good with a bit of butter and a drizzle of honey.

Two loaves of classic zucchini bread on a cutting board, with several slices cut from one of the loaves

We started pulling out the fall decor bins from our storage area in the basement, which just seemed like the right thing to do because it’s already mid-September.

However, there’s just something that seems a little off about peppering our house with ceramic pumpkins and faux fall leaves when it is freaking 88 degrees outside. Your girl was sweating while she was tying up cornstalks and switching out our porch pillows.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but guys – I’m ready for summer to be over. I’m ready for cozy sweaters, hot coffee and all the pumpkin recipes.

But before I move to full on fall mode over here, I had to share another zucchini recipe with you. This Classic Zucchini Bread is so simple to make and it might just be my new favorite breakfast bread. Lightly toast it up and top it with a little butter for the perfect quick morning breakfast with a cup of coffee.

(more…)

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Pesto Cheese Toast

Pesto has been a champion ingredient in my kitchen for a while. Although it is a slightly more expensive item, a little bit goes a long way toward adding flavor to a meal. This Pesto Cheese Toast is a super simple treat that can be served as a party appetizer, a side with dinner, or […]

The post Pesto Cheese Toast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pesto has been a champion ingredient in my kitchen for a while. Although it is a slightly more expensive item, a little bit goes a long way toward adding flavor to a meal. This Pesto Cheese Toast is a super simple treat that can be served as a party appetizer, a side with dinner, or even just a little snack. It’s kind of like garlic bread‘s fancier cousin. ;) 

Originally posted 3-1-2010, updated 9-8-2021.

Pesto cheese toast on a baking sheet with bread, tomatoes and cheese on the sides

What Kind of Pesto to Use

That’s the great thing about this tasty toast, you can use any kind of pesto you have or whatever you like best. You can use a basil pesto, a sun dried tomato pesto, a kale pesto, any kind! Today I’m using a Genovese pesto, which is a creamy basil style pesto. Other good affordable pesto brands that I like are Felipo Berio, Classico, and Alessi.

What Kind of Bread to Use

This recipe works great on any French or Italian loaf bread. You can slice the bread into traditional slices, like in the photos here, or slice the loaf in half length-wise, then slice the halved bread into slices like in my Homemade Garlic Bread recipe. It just depends on the bread to topping ratio that you prefer. If you want to get a little creative, you could also basically turn this into a pesto pizza by using small pieces of naan or English muffins instead.

What to Serve with Pesto Cheese Toast

Pesto cheese toast makes a great alternative to garlic bread with any pasta dish, but it’s also great served alongside a bowl of tomato soup. These cheesy little toasts also make a great party appetizer! You can even serve it with a bowl of warm marinara for dipping. But perhaps my favorite way to serve this is with a fried or scrambled egg for breakfast. You just can’t beat that egg-pesto-tomato combo!!

close up side view of pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

close up side view of pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

Pesto Cheese Toast

Pesto cheese toast is an easy and delicious alternative to garlic bread. It's great for a party appetizer, snack, or side with dinner!
Total Cost $1.81 recipe / $0.45 per slice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 pieces
Calories 149kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread $0.66
  • 2 Tbsp pesto $0.45
  • 1 Roma tomato $0.28
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella $0.42

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread into ½-inch thick slices.
  • Place the slices of bread on the prepared baking sheet and spread ½ Tbps over each piece.
  • Slice the Roma tomato into 8 slices, then top each piece of bread with two slices of tomato.
  • Finally, add a large pinch of shredded mozzarella to each piece of bread.
  • Bake the toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the toast is brown and crispy on the edges. Baking time may vary depending on your oven and the type of bread chosen, so keep an eye on them. Serve warm!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 304mg | Fiber: 1g

Close up of one piece of pesto cheese toast being held in a hand

How to Make Pesto Cheese Toast – Step By Step Photos

A loaf of bread being sliced

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread into ½-inch thick slices. 

pesto being spread onto the bread

Spread about a ½ tablespoon of pesto onto each slice of bread.

sliced tomatoes on pesto bread

Slice a Roma tomato into 8 slices. Top each piece of toast with two slices of tomato.

shredded cheese being added to toast

Top each piece of toast with about 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella (or more if you like!). 

baked pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

Bake the toast for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the outer edges of the bread is toasty!

Finished pesto cheese toast next to the ingredients and a yellow zig zag napkin

Serve and enjoy! I ended up topping mine with a little bit of freshly cracked pepper, but there’s so much flavor in the pesto that you don’t necessarily need that!

The post Pesto Cheese Toast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Zucchini Banana Bread

If you love zucchini bread and banana bread, you’ll love this marriage of both! Zucchini Banana Bread is a twist on your favorite banana bread. Don’t forget the crunchy sugar topping! I’m starting to think that the only reason I purchase bananas these days is to make banana bread. No one in our house is …

The post Zucchini Banana Bread appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

If you love zucchini bread and banana bread, you’ll love this marriage of both! Zucchini Banana Bread is a twist on your favorite banana bread. Don’t forget the crunchy sugar topping!

Sliced loaf of zucchini banana bread on a piece of parchment paper

I’m starting to think that the only reason I purchase bananas these days is to make banana bread. No one in our house is in a fresh banana mood right now, but for some reason I keep adding them to my Instacart order week after week.

At any given moment there are no less than 4 ripe bananas sitting on my counter just waiting to either be made into banana bread, or be attacked by fruit flies.

Some of them find there way into freezer bags for smoothies, but for the most part I’m using them to whip up my favorite banana bread for friends, family, neighbors and even Eric’s chiropractor.

This Zucchini Banana Bread is my new favorite twist on classic banana bread and it is absolutely perfect for this time of year!

(more…)

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How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Use what you have on hand to build an ultimate veggie sandwich packed with color, flavor, and texture. Eat the rainbow!

The post How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love a good veggie sandwich. There are so many colors, textures, and flavors in every bite that it’s just beyond satisfying. And, because they’re super flexible, you can build an ultimate veggie sandwich using odds and ends of things you may already have in your fridge. And that is one of the most valuable characteristics of a recipe or meal when it comes to eating on a budget.

An ultimate veggie sandwich cut in half and stacked, cut sides facing the camera

This is going to be more of a how-to than a recipe because it’s so extremely flexible and it’s unlikely that you’ll end up using the exact same mix of ingredients as I did. For that reason, and because some of these ingredients are nearly impossible to accurately measure let alone calculate the cost of, I didn’t do a cost breakdown this time. But I’m willing to bet that it cost me less than shelling out $8 for a veggie sandwich at a deli!

I will put a recipe card with my exact sandwich ingredients below for anyone who is interested in trying to duplicate the exact sandwich pictured.

Step 1: Choose Your Bread

I suggest a good, hearty bread for veggie sandwiches, like wheat bread, sourdough, focaccia, or ciabatta. You need something that can hold up to the hefty texture of the vegetables without ripping and something that will provide a little weight in your stomach next to all those lightweight veggies. If you want to make your own bread, no-knead bread or focaccia would be awesome.

You could also make your veggie sandwich into a wrap using an extra-large tortilla. A pita pocket might work too, but it might be difficult to squeeze all those veggies in without it ripping.

The sandwich in the photos was made using Dave’s Killer Bread, Good Seed flavor. It was my first time trying this bread and while it was strong enough for the sandwich, it was a little softer than I’d prefer and the flavor was a bit too sweet for my liking.

Step 3: Choose Your Spread

Using some sort of sandwich spread adds moisture, flavor, and a little fat, which gives the sandwich a more satisfying mouthfeel.

I whipped up a quick scallion cream cheese that was basically a scaled-back version of my Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread. I just mixed together 2oz. cream cheese with one sliced green onion, ½ tsp lemon juice, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp dried dill, and a pinch of salt.

Other good sandwich spread options include:

  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Pesto
  • Mayo (or a pesto-mayo mix)
  • Thick salad dressings, like ranch or green goddess
  • Boursin
  • Marinara
A veggie sandwich being built, ingredients all around.

Step 4: Add Cheese (Optional)

Since my spread was technically a cheese, I didn’t add any extra cheese. A little cheese can go a long way toward making a veggie sandwich very filling. Here are some good cheese options for veggie sandwiches:

  • White cheddar
  • Feta
  • Goat cheese (chevre)
  • Havarti
  • Swiss
  • Fresh mozzarella

Step 5: Pile On the Veggies!

And here’s where you can start to get really creative! I pulled a lonely carrot out of my produce drawer, grabbed a handful of leftover fresh spinach, sliced up a cucumber and tomato, and used the leftover half of a red bell pepper that I had from the day before. Oh, and I added some alfalfa sprouts because I love the texture they bring to the sandwich! Here are some other vegetables you can add:

  • Sliced button mushrooms or grilled portobello
  • Avocado
  • Coleslaw (this would act like a veggie-spread combo ingredient)
  • Pickles
  • Red onion
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Fresh or grilled zucchini
  • Roasted beets (sliced thin)
  • Sauer kraut
  • Jalapeño
  • Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro
  • Broccoli (chopped fine)

You’ll want to slice most of your vegetables thinly, which helps keep everything packed together tightly. For hard vegetables, like the carrot I used, it’s helpful to chop or shred them into very small pieces. I used a cheese grater to grate my carrot, but something like broccoli I would just chop finely.

Step 6: Top with Extras

With so many veggies piled onto one sandwich, a little extra ✨spice✨ is never a bad idea. I always like to add some salt and freshly cracked pepper to my tomato layer, but you can also add things like Italian herbs, sunflower seeds, everything bagel seasoning, crushed red pepper, furikake, or nutritional yeast.

A hand holding both halves of a cut open ultimate veggie sandwich

Veggie Sandwich Ideas

Before we get into exactly what was on the sandwich pictured above, here are a few other fun veggie sandwich combo ideas:

  • The Green Goddess: Green goddess dressing, spinach, sprouts, cucumber, avocado, feta on any bread.
  • The Roasted Veggie: Hummus, roasted red peppers, roasted portobellos, roasted zucchini, feta, everything bagel seasoning, on any bread.
  • The “Pizza”: Marinara, grilled or roasted eggplant or portobello, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, black olives, red onion, fresh mozzarella, on ciabatta bread.
  • Coleslaw Sandwich: Creamy coleslaw, tomato, Swiss or havarti, salt and pepper, on sourdough.
A hand holding both halves of a cut open ultimate veggie sandwich

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Use what you have on hand to build an ultimate veggie sandwich packed with color, flavor, and texture. Eat the rainbow!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 411kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Scallion Cream Cheese

  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • 1 pinch salt

Sandwich

  • 2 slices hearty bread
  • 6 slices cucumber
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Instructions

  • Whip the ingredients for the scallion cream cheese together in a small bowl (I used a fork).
  • Lightly toast the bread. Spread the cream cheese over one side of each pieces of bread.
  • Pile the vegetables onto the bread, then close. Slice in half and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 560mg | Fiber: 9g
Side view of a closed veggie sandwich, uncut

Got Leftover Ingredients?

If you did happen to buy ingredients specifically for making a veggie sandwich, here are some really flexible recipes that you can make to use up any leftovers:

The post How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pesto Avocado Toast with Fresh Tomatoes

Say hello to the summer avocado toast of your dreams topped with vibrant pesto and sliced tomatoes! It’s avocado toast on a whole new level. Just 15 minutes and 10 ingredients required for this incredibly delicious breakfast or snack celebrating the be…

Pesto Avocado Toast with Fresh Tomatoes

Say hello to the summer avocado toast of your dreams topped with vibrant pesto and sliced tomatoes! It’s avocado toast on a whole new level. Just 15 minutes and 10 ingredients required for this incredibly delicious breakfast or snack celebrating the best of summer. Let us show you how it’s done!

How to Make Pesto Avocado Toast

Friends, it might sound simple, but this avocado toast truly is next level deliciousness!

Pesto Avocado Toast with Fresh Tomatoes from Minimalist Baker →

Sourdough Baps Are the Ultimate Burger Buns (Yeah, We Said It.)

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer-turned-bread expert (and Food52’s Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather…

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer-turned-bread expert (and Food52's Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather on a lot of butter. Today, an explainer on baps, a bun you’ll want to use to house sausage, eggs, and burgers alike.


Baps are soft, leavened rolls, typically eaten for breakfast in the United Kingdom—but I find they also serve as a pretty stellar hamburger or egg sandwich bun. The distinction between a bap and bun you’d typically use for a burger seems to primarily revolve around the fat used in the recipe, with some claiming a true bap must be made with lard.

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Zucchini muffins

“Have you been doing anything else lately besides cooking and going to funerals?” said my grandma. I laughed, though I wasn’t sure if…
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“Have you been doing anything else lately besides cooking and going to funerals?” said my grandma. I laughed, though I wasn’t sure if…

Source