My Take on Paula Deen’s Bread Pudding

A casserole in a pan

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Image by me: I am NOT a photographer!

So I am joining the ranks of “those” people who write an epistle before they just “show you the dang recipe!” But if you want to skip it, you can see it HERE. I promise to make this epistle more like Jude and less like I Corinthians. 

I rarely follow a recipe as is. I don’t know if it’s my right-brained creativity or my tiny rebellious streak. But it’s been a feature of my cooking since childhood, when I eschewed a recipe book for my first family cooking assignment in second grade and opted to create my own recipe, which I called bologna casserole. It was less than successful.

Thankfully, when the base recipe is from Paul Deen, as this one is, the results are much more favorable. In fact, one of my friends whose palate I respect immensely told me it was the best bread pudding she had ever eaten. This made me feel like a foodie, which is rare. And the fact that my husband has eaten at least three bowls in 24 hours both tickles me and makes my day.

So, here goes. Again, the recipe is a tweaked version of Paul Deen’s recipe found HERE.

Laurie’s Rendition of Bread Pudding


3 cups divided granulated sugar

7 large beaten eggs

2 cups milk

5 teaspoons divided vanilla extract

1 loaf of Italian bread (I bought mine at Walmart for 1.00)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup melted, plus 1/4 cup softened butter

1 cup chopped pecans

1 beaten, for the sauce egg

1/2 cup amaretto


Pinch apart the loaf of Italian bread into 1-inch pieces. You can let it sit overnight to “stale” a bit. Or, if you’re bad at planning (like me), you can microwave it uncovered for about 5 minutes and then toss it so that it all gets “dried out.”

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or spray 9×13 inch pan.

Combine and mix the 2 cups granulated sugar, 7 eggs, and milk in a bowl; add 3 teaspoons vanilla. Pour the mixture over the cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes. Alternately, you can refrigerate overnight if you’re doing it in two phases.

In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, 1/4 cup softened butter, and pecans.

Pour the bread mixture into the 9×13 pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce, I start the process about 10 minutes before the bread pudding has finished baking.

Mix together 1 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. I like to let it barely bubble and then reduce the heat just a bit. Add the amaretto, stirring well. Pour the sauce over the4 bread pudding. Yes, all of it. It will look like a lot of sauce, but it will sink into the bread part and be fine. If you are worried about it, use a toothpick and poke holes to make it absorb more quickly.

A plate of food

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Image by Tess Olten, a wonderful person

You can eat it warm or cold, but I like it really warm with vanilla ice cream. My beloved foodie friend says it is especially good with Dulce de Leche caramel ice cream.

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