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Savory Bacon-and-Leek Bread Pudding

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

 

Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 1 hr, 20 mins
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
We love how buttery Gouda and nutty Parmesan lend richness and depth of flavor to this dish. Bake it as directed or divide among 6 to 8 ovenproof dishes, reducing the bake time to 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 cups cubed challah bread (about 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Gouda cheese, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in bread cubes and 1 cup each Gouda and Parmesan cheeses.

  2. Remove and discard root ends and dark green tops of leeks. Cut in half lengthwise, and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove grit and sand.

  3. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Fold leek mixture and bacon into egg mixture. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup each Gouda and Parmesan cheeses.

  4. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 minutes.