Mark Bittman



This recipe is proof-positive that leftover bread can easily be converted to dessert without much work.


There’s room for customization here: consider adding fresh or dried fruit or a combination of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom.


It makes a great brunch dish, served with fresh fruit compote. Or add a handful of chocolate chips before baking for a decidedly more decadent outcome.




2 cups milk

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, more for                         greasing pan

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch salt

½ loaf sweet egg bread like challah or brioche, cut                                     Into 2-inch cubes (about 5 to 6 cups)

2 eggs, beaten




Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm milk, butter, vanilla, sugar and salt. Continue cooking just until butter melts; cool. Meanwhile, butter a 4-to-6-cup baking dish and fill it with cubed bread.


Add eggs to cooled milk mixture and whisk; pour mixture over bread. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until custard is set but still a little wobbly and edges of bread have browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.