Bread soaked in milk, eggs and sugar and flavored with...

Bread soaked in milk, eggs and sugar and flavored with apples, walnuts, and maple syrup is an easy do-ahead dish for breaking the fast. (September 2022) Credit: Marge Perry

One of our family favorites, bread pudding, has found a permanent (albeit annual) place on our breaking-the-fast table at the end of Yom Kippur. It also finds its way onto our table throughout the fall and winter — this much beloved dessert is incredibly easy to make and even easier to eat.

Classic bread pudding is made in a deeper baking dish, but I have learned that baking it in a shallow sheet pan yields more delicious crusty bits around the edges. The serving pieces are larger and flatter, which makes you feel like you are eating a bigger portion than you actually are.

You can make this bread pudding with challah or raisin cinnamon bread. Just be sure to toast the challah first for best results. Softer breads in general are best toasted, while hearty breads like sourdough may be used fresh.

Serve with the warm maple syrup drizzled over the top, and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Apple Walnut Bread Pudding

4 large eggs

2 ½ cups milk (2% or whole)

½ cup sugar

¾ cup maple syrup, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound sourdough bread, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)

2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and diced in ½-inch pieces (about 2 ½ cups)

½ cup walnuts, chopped

1.    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.

2.    Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, ¼ cup of the maple syrup and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add the bread and stir to coat it in the milk mixture. Let it stand at least 5 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator so the bread soaks up most of the mixture.

3.    Stir in the apples and walnuts. Arrange on the prepared sheet pan. Pour any liquid remaining in the bowl over the bread.

4.    Bake until the bread is slightly puffed, golden brown, and the custard is set, about 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

5.    If desired, warm the remaining maple syrup in a microwave or a small pot. Drizzle the syrup over each serving.

MAKES 8 - 12 SERVINGS