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Sweet And Sticky Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

1 (16 oz.) loaf brioche or challah, cubed
1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted, optional
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract, optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, half-and-half, eggs, sugars (brown and granulated) and melted butter until smooth and combined.
Stir in vanilla and maple extracts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, then fold in pecans.
Add cubed challah to your wet mixture and gently mix until bread is fully submerged and has absorbed liquids.
Transfer mixture to greased baking dish.
Optional: whisk together 1/4 brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and fold in 1 cup pecans. Spread pecans on top of bread pudding mixture, then place in oven.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until center is just set but still slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and let cool 20-30 minutes before serving.