Savory Bread Pudding With Bacon, Peppers, and Spinach

“In 'Seriously Simple Holidays' by Diane Rossen Worthington”
READY IN:
1hr 50mins
SERVES:
8
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 14 ounces olive ciabatta, crusts removed, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 12 lb apple wood-smoked bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 34 cup jarred roasted red pepper, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 14 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 cups milk or 4 cups half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  1. One day before preparing the pudding, place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and let stand at room temperature overnight, or until the cubes are dried out.
  2. The next day, in a big skillet, cook the bacon over med-high heat, turning once, for 5 minutes, or until evenly browned and crisp; remove to paper towels to drain.
  3. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish; arrange the cubes in the dish.
  4. Scatter the bacon, peppers, and spinach leaves evenly over the cubes.
  5. Sprinkle with the 2 cups cheese.
  6. With a large spoon, evenly distribute the ingredients.
  7. In a big bowl, whisk together or beat with an electric mixer on medium speed the eggs, milk, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste until well blended.
  8. Ladle the milk mixture over the bread, using your fingers, if necessary, to press the bread into the liquid.
  9. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.
  10. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  11. The next morning, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking and preheat the oven to 350°.
  12. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until slightly puffed, set, and browned on the top.
  13. If the center is still underdone, push the bread down with a wooden spoon to help the bread absorb the liquid; bake for a few more minutes.
  14. Let rest for a few minutes and then cut into squares.
  15. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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