I’ve always loved bread pudding. Like a baked eggy, bready, custardy casserole of sorts, it’s a great way to use up days-old bread, cinnamon buns, croissants and the like, and can be made sweet, like French toast, or savory, like a strata. It’s also a perfect dish for a crowd, and easy to assemble the night before, ready to slide into the oven to bake in the morning. Turns out, leftover doughnuts make a pretty fantastic bread pudding. And guess what? You can use coffee in place of the typical milk or cream – yes, coffee and doughnut bread pudding. Creamy coffee and doughnuts you can eat with a spoon – perfect for breakfast in bed.
Bread pudding is simply made by soaking torn bread chunks in a sweetened mixture of eggs and milk, then baked once the bread has a chance to soak up as much of the liquid as it can. Bread puddings don’t need accurate measurements – if you have more doughnuts to use up, add more, or double the recipe if you have lots of hungry mouths to feed. Any doughnut will work here – I like plain or cinnamon-sugar yeast-raised doughnuts; cake doughnuts will result in a richer, heavier pudding that’s better suited for dessert (topped with whipped cream, like a latte!). Try tearing an assortment of doughnuts into pieces for an interesting mix of flavours. If your doughnuts are sweetened or iced, ease back on the sugar in the egg and coffee mixture.
Coffee & Doughnut Bread Pudding
6 plain or cinnamon-sugar yeast-raised doughnuts, torn into chunks
1 1/2 cups creamy coffee, or 1 1/2 cups milk with 2 tsp instant coffee or espresso stirred in
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
Tear the doughnuts into chunks into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the coffee, eggs, sugar and vanilla and pour over the doughnuts. Refrigerate for several hours, until much of the liquid has been absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Pour the mixture into a buttered baking dish and bake for an hour, until puffed and golden. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Serves 6-8 (or more).