Dairy-Free No-Waste Failed Bake Bread Pudding

What a long title for a post, right? Even for the experienced baker, bread baking is not always seamless. Loaves can fail at any time. However, there is always a way to minimize waste and enjoy what’s left of your bake. Today I happened to ruin a bake by setting too high an oven I didn’t know well. So, I felt inspired to share the story of one particular loaf that I ruined back in March and how I saved it.

Shortly after moving to Seattle back in December, I tried to create a brand new sourdough starter. Since I wasn’t familiar with the weather and temperature variations during the day, it took me about three to four weeks to see a vigorous fermentation and volume increase. I was feeding the starter with a blend of 25% rye, 50% organic whole wheat, and 25% organic bread flour. I decided to try its strength on a 100% organic bread flour loaf. To start, I followed my standard bread method, the one I successfully have executed for years. But this time, the starter didn’t seem to like the environment created by 100% white flour and struggled to produce enough gas to raise the dough much. Finally, however, I decided to shape it and let it be proof at room temperature. After about 6 hours it couldn’t wait any longer.

When I baked the loaf, I got a ‘beautiful’ oven spring (the loaf burst from the bottom) that made me only hope for a lovely result. But the result was far away from that. When I cut the loaf, I saw a gigantic air bubble with a very dense mass at the bottom. The dough had collapsed inside the oven because of excessive fermentation and too high hydration for the flour type. I happened to be testing a flour from Central Milling which got extremely pliable in high hydration.

This loaf burst from the bottom and collapsed inside. When I cut through it, it was clear that I couldn’t use it as bread.

I bet that anyone who tried to bake seriously had many of these incidents. I would have tossed the loaf in the compost and called it a day on a regular weeknight. However, I also had a friends’ gathering the following day, to which I promised to bring dessert. So what did I do? Dairy-free bread pudding!

While french toast, croutons, and bread pudding are the most widely known ways of using stale bread, I tried to up a notch my game by making it dairy-free. We ended up enjoying this bread pudding with vegan ice cream from my favorite shop, Frankie & Jo’s. Here is the recipe.

The resulting bread pudding right out of the oven.

Dairy-Free Bread Pudding

A fun way to reuse stale bread or failed bakes.


  • One loaf of stale (or too-terribly-baked-to-eat) bread, chopped into small pieces
  • Two cups of sweetened vanilla-flavored coconut beverage
  • One tablespoon of rum (optional)
  • ¼ cup of your favorite raisins
  • Four eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Three tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Zest of one Meyer lemon
  • Olive oil


  1. Soak the bread in the coconut beverage for about six hours or overnight.
  2. Soak the raisins in the rum for a few hours or up to overnight.
  3. Strain the bread, reserving the coconut beverage.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and the sugar, add the lemon zest.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the reserved coconut liquid until simmering.
  6. With a ladle, transfer a ladleful of the coconut liquid to the egg and sugar mixture to temper it, mix and transfer back to the saucepan on low heat.
  7. Stir the mixture constantly until it thickens slightly, and remove the custard from the heat.
  8. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and lightly oil it.
  9. Transfer the soaked bread and raisins to the pan and toss to mix well.
  10. Transfer the custard to the loaf pan running it through a mesh sieve to make it silky.
  11. Distribute the custard evenly, making sure all the bread pieces are submerged.
  12. Bake at 350ºF until the custard sets.
  13. Refrigerate before enjoying with some ice cream and basil.

I hope you enjoyed the post and, if you make this, I’d love to see some photos of it. Also, please leave comments or questions in the section below.

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