This dish was a last-minute addition to our Thanksgiving day brunch. The night before Thanksgiving I was trying to figure out what to do with a leftover loaf of Costco French bread that had been cut into a few days prior and was going majorly stale. Also, Sis had given me some gourmet hazelnut spread that needed to be used. My first thought was French Toast, but I wasn’t into any of the recipes that I found. Then I started looking at French Toast bakes which brought me into the realm of bread pudding.
Aside from having to make hazelnut spread sandwiches as the first step, this recipe is relatively easy. I opted to soak the dish overnight so I could just pop it into the oven in the morning. I was worried that there wasn’t enough custard mixture to completely soak into the bread. The recipes I found were kind of vague: “use 4 croissants” (what size??) or “use enough bread to cover the bottom of the pan” (um, thanks?). And I swear in past bread pudding recipes I’ve made the custard mixture soaked more of the bread mixture.
At any rate, I went with it because it was too late in the evening to try to improvise. The next morning I still saw some custard mixture in the bottom of the baker, which I found unnerving. I felt like it should have soaked into the bread more than it did. In baking the dish there ended up being a stark contrast between the top and the bottom of the dish. The bottom was a bit mushy like bread pudding normally is and the top was a bit crunchy like bread pudding normally isn’t. Sis said she liked the crunchy topping. We all agreed the flavor was a success, and Sis normally doesn’t like Nutella or hazelnut spread so that spoke volumes!
If you repeatedly buy Nutella from Costco and find yourself needing a way to use it, this recipe is for you. It also stands to reason that if you are a Nutella fanatic this recipe is also for you.
Happy Thanksgiving, 2021, y’all!
- 8 slices day or two old bread
- ½ to 1 c. Nutella
- 1 c. heavy cream
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ c. Nutella or hazelnut spread (optional)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- dash of salt
- Nutella for drizzling
- Slather Nutella onto 4 slices of bread and top with another slice to make 4 sandwiches. Cut into small pieces. Arrange onto the bottom of a greased 9 x 9-inch baker.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Add in cream, vanilla and salt, whisking until combined. Pour custard mixture over bread, cover with foil, and let soak for 15 minutes before baking or overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover baker and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes. If you soaked overnight you will likely need to bake another 20.
- Drizzle additional Nutella on top and serve warm. For a decadent dessert, top with ice cream and/or whipped cream.