To make bread pudding, combine any crusty bread cut into cubes with a sweet custard or pudding and spices. Bake the mixture in a casserole dish at approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 45 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
While many variations exist, the basic steps to prepare bread pudding remain mostly consistent from recipe to recipe. You can personalize a bread pudding recipe by using different types of bread, spices and forms of presentation.
Martha Stewart's recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of ciabatta or challah, 12 tablespoons of butter, 4 cups of half-and-half, 1 cup of packed light brown sugar and 5 large eggs. Additional ingredients include 1/2 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract and 1 cup of raisins. Combine the cubed bread and the half-and-half. Set the mixture aside at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove the melted butter from the heat, and stir in the sugar and the vanilla. Pour the butter-and-sugar mixture over the moistened bread cubes. Transfer the bread to a baking dish, and sprinkle the raisins over it. Cover the baking dish with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil, and bake for 55 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake the pudding until it appears golden brown, or another 10 to 15 minutes.
Betty Crocker offers a very similar recipe, except that it entails milk instead of half-and-half and calls for a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.