This was something of an accident. I didn’t intend to fuel the current frenzy for Nutella, but I ran out of chocolate filling for the bread pudding I was trying to make and I needed a stand-in for the visual effect. I substituted the you-know-what just because it was the right color. It was the best move of the day. You will love it.
- Enough ¼-inch slices of home-style or bakery white bread or baguette, with or without the crusts, to cover the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, not too tightly, with 2 layers of bread
- ¼ to 1/3 cup Nutella
- 5 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- Scant 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups milk
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the bread in the bottom of the baking dish to make sure you have sliced enough to make two layers.
Remove the bread from the dish. If the bread is fresh, lay slices on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes on each side, or until very lightly toasted. Let the slices cool.
Spread one side of each slice of bread with Nutella. Cut or break large whole slices (not baguette slices) into 4 pieces each. Arrange the bread, Nutella side facing up, in the baking dish in one layer of overlapping pieces, with rounded crusts or trimmed angles showing attractively.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt together. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Pour the egg mixture through a strainer into the baking dish. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and press any floating bread pieces back into the egg mixture. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
Uncover the pudding and place it in a baking pan large enough to hold it with a little space on all sides, and then into the oven. Pull the oven rack out and carefully pour enough boiling water into the large pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until a knife inserted into the pudding comes out free of custard (or with a little Nutella clinging to it), 50 to 55 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour.
Serve the pudding warm or at room temperature. Cold leftover pudding is divine, but you could also reheat it in the microwave on medium power for a few seconds.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings, 1/4 cup of Nutella, and 8 thin slices of bread.