Pain Perdu Pudding

A perfect combination of breakfast and dessert, Bill Brodsky’s Pain Perdu Pudding is a cross between a traditional bread pudding and French toast. For the best result, Brodsky suggests using heartier styles like brioche, challah or country white and avoiding flimsy sandwich breads. Note that there is a lot of downtime in this recipe – there are several resting period that take many hours each – but it couldn’t be simpler to put together. Try it the next time you need an easy and delicious brunch dish.


Servings: 4


  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large loaf bread, roughly cubed


  1. Combine and mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl until well mixed. Add the bread and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  2. Generously spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray making sure to coat the corners well. Add the bread/custard mixture and level the top. Cover the top with plastic wrap and then cover the plastic wrap with aluminum foil. Let this sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  4. To cook the pudding, bake it on the middle rack of your preheated oven for approximately 1 to 1¼ hours. To ensure it is done cooking, the center of the pudding should be a little firm to the touch and the edges of the pudding should have pulled away from the pan. Cook it the entire way with the plastic and foil cover.
  5. When cooked, let the pudding rest uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate it overnight, still uncovered.
  6. To de-mold the pudding the next day, heat the bottom of the pan over a burner and then flip the pan upside down on a large cutting board. This requires a little patience at times, and be careful not to drop the pudding and/or burn yourself.
  7. Once de-molded, slice the pudding into strips. This may all be done in advance and either refrigerated and/or frozen at this point.
  8. To cook the Pain Perdu, add a little canola or vegetable oil to a preheated pan or griddle and place the strips of the pudding into the pan. Brown each side for 3 to 4 minutes and serve. Suggested toppings include powdered sugar, maple syrup or a variety of fruit chutneys.
  9. If the slices are thick, or if you are entertaining a larger group, you can brown each side slightly and reserve them all on a cookie sheet. You can then heat the entire pan in a 350 degree oven until hot and serve everyone at the same time.

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