Peach Bread Pudding

by Jillian

Fluffy cubes of challah bread and fresh peaches baked in a creamy custard and generously drizzled with rich homemade toffee sauce!

Peaches have always been in my top five when it comes to fruits. They’re juicy, sweet, and incredibly refreshing, especially during the hot summer months. Moreover, did you know that peaches can boost your immune system and energy levels, while also promoting heart health and a better complexion? Now I’m wondering why peaches aren’t a common ingredient in beauty serums. Now that’s a billion dollar idea! Peach skin serums!
 
Anywho, since we’re currently in the thick of peach season, I decided to make a peach dessert that’s guaranteed to make those tastebuds tremble with excitement… 
 
This Peach Bread Pudding is #GOALS, as the kiddos would say these days. Every single bite is pure peach bliss. With moist and fluffy cubes of vanilla custard-soaked challah bread intermingling with juicy ripe peaches and a silky sweet toffee sauce, you can’t get any more heavenly than this bread pudding right here.
 
 
Now, I’m usually Team Croissant when it comes to bread puddings, however I thought it was time to venture out a little by using challah bread. I’ve had exquisite results with challah bread, and the last time I used it was in my Death By Chocolate Bread Pudding. You can also use a loaf of French bread, brioche, or croissants obviously!
 
The only thing you need to remember is to use dry/stale bread so that it can REALLY soak up the custard and become infused with tremendous flavor! I will often cut the bread into cubes, spread them out onto a baking sheet, and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 7-10 minutes, or until the bread looks lightly toasted. This is a foolproof method that ensures that your bread is extra dry.
 
 
Now let’s talk about the creamy nectarous liquid that these bread cubes are soaked in, aka, the custard. This is the crucial element that transforms an old stale loaf of bread into a decadent dessert. It not only provides more of the flavor, but it also makes the bread pudding EXTRA moist.
 
I’ve found that an equal ratio of milk and heavy cream provides just the perfect amount of creaminess to my bread puddings. I also like to remove most of the egg whites from the eggs to eliminate any eggy sulfuric flavor that might result after baking. I’ve found that one full egg and 3 egg yolks is perfect. For sweetness, I added 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. To round out the delicious flavors of this custard, a dash of salt, a splash of vanilla, and a variety of warm spices (cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) are added.
 
 
Moving on to the star ingredient–the PEACHES! A whole pound of peeled chopped fresh peaches is added to the bread pudding. It should equal about 3 cups, and it’s enough to ensure that you get peach in every bite. 

Now it’s time to combine everything! Place your bread cubes, custard, and peaches into a large bowl, and toss everything together. Make sure that every cube of bread is completely saturated in that flavorful custard before pouring it into the baking dish.

As far as soaking time goes, I like to soak my bread pudding overnight. While 1-2 hours is definitely adequate, I’ve found that the longer you let the bread soak in the custard, the more the flavors are able to develop since the ingredients have had plenty of time to “mingle”. If you do decide to take the overnight route, I would recommend taking the bread pudding out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking to take some of the chill off.

Just before baking the bread pudding, I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon-sugar on top. This not only creates that super thin, delicately crisp crust on top of the bread pudding, but it also adds a little extra sweetness which is NEVER a bad thing. 

As the bread pudding is beautifying in the oven, you can make the mouthgasmic toffee sauce…

I have to admit that peaches and toffee sauce were never an obvious combination for me. I usually pair toffee with fruits like apples or pears, but never peaches. OMGoodness, peaches and toffee taste HEAVENLY together! Seriously, how has it taken me so many years to realize how stunning this combination is together?? Just like caramel apples are a thing, we need to make toffee peaches a thing!
 
 
Now, making toffee sauce might seem intimidating, but I promise you that it’s super DUPER easy to make. Not only is it much lower maintenance than making caramel sauce, but it also takes a lot less time.
 
All you have to do is throw some butter, brown sugar, and honey into a saucepan, cook it until it starts to boil and foam, pour in some heavy cream, then stir until silky smooth. 
 
And FYI, this recipe makes PLENTY of toffee sauce, so don’t be shy when it comes time to drizzle this luscious sauce on top of your warm and blissful bowl of glorious peach bread pudding…

Peach Bread Pudding

Fluffy cubes of challah bread and fresh peaches baked in a creamy custard and generously drizzled with rich homemade toffee sauce!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes
Soaking Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 7 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounces dry/stale bread, cut into cubes (I used challah bread)*
  • 16 ounces fresh peeled and chopped peaches (about 3 cups)

Custard:

  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk

For Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Toffee Sauce:

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5 Tablespoons salted butter
  • cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Place the bread and peaches into a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Make the Custard:

  • In a large bowl, whisk both sugars, the egg yolks, egg, vanilla, salt, and spices together until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and milk until combined. Pour custard over the bread and peaches. Gently fold everything together until bread looks evenly saturated with custard.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Allow to sit and soak for at least an hour**.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the bread pudding. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and toasty.

Make the Toffee Sauce:

  • In a medium saucepan, stir the brown sugar, honey, and butter over medium-high heat until mixture begins to boil and foam. Let the mixture bubble for 2-3 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream. Increase heat to medium and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

To Serve:

  • Slice/scoop bread pudding into bowls. Drizzle with toffee sauce and enjoy!

Notes

*If your bread isn't dry or stale, use the oven to dry it out. Simply preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees. Scatter the bread cubes evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and toasted, about 7-9 minutes. Allow bread to cool completely before mixing with the custard.
**You can also prepare this bread pudding the night before, allow it to soak overnight, then bake it in the oven the next day.
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