The beauty of bread puddings is that they are easy to make and can be made in almost any flavor with just a few simple tweaks to the basic recipe. While I often use simply milk or cream in my bread puddings, I decided to mix things up by making Individual Buttermilk Bread Puddings this time around. These single-serving bread puddings are sweet, without being too sweet, and delivers plenty of the buttery tanginess that buttermilk is known for. The puddings are moist and tender inside, perfect for indulging in when it’s a bit crisp outside. Since buttermilk is naturally low in fat, these puddings are less of an indulgence than some bread pudding recipes that might use heavy cream as a base to make them feel richer. As someone who loves baking with buttermilk, I definitely am a fan of these.
While I usually use challah or brioche or a similarly rich bread for bread pudding, I specifically chose to use buttermilk sandwich bread for this one. Available from many brands at grocery stores, buttermilk bread has a hint of buttermilk and a soft texture that makes it a good choice for french toast, grilled cheese and bread pudding. In this recipe, it brings in even more buttermilk flavor – and you can use the leftovers to make delicious toast the next day.
The puddings are relatively plain and you can add mix-ins such as raisins, dried cherries or chocolate chips to change things up. I topped these with a little bit of butterscotch sauce, which added a nice extra sweetness without covering up the buttermilk flavor. In summer, they would be excellent served with fresh berries and a small dollop of whipped cream. You will need a set of six ramekins to make this recipe as written, but it can be converted to a casserole-style bread pudding by baking everything in a 9×9 square baking dish for about 40-45 minutes, too.
Individual Buttermilk Bread Puddings
5 cups cubed buttermilk sandwich bread (or other white bread; approx 1/2 loaf)
1 cup milk (pref. whole)
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease six 6-oz ramekins.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, buttermilk, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until very smooth. Add in cubed bread and turn gently with a spatula to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow bread to soak up some of the liquid.
Use a large spoon to evenly distribute the pudding mixture between the prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet (you may want to line it with aluminum foil to catch any drips).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puddings are puffed set.
Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Puddings may deflate slightly as they cool.