Crispy on the edges, soft in the middle, cheesy and fabulously delicious describes this savory bread pudding made with herbed focaccia, caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese. If we could only pick one cheese, it would probably be Gruyere. We love its nutty taste with anything from a slice of baguette or apple, to roasted veggie crepes and this amazing focaccia bread pudding. This savory bread pudding is lip-smacking good and really hard to resist first, second … maybe even third helpings! And, even though we love turkey stuffing, this would be a tasty choice to go with your turkey dinner this year!
You can use any kind of focaccia you like, but we make it with some amazing herbed focaccia from our local farmers’ market and it is so good. If you can’t find herbed focaccia, then simply use plain or Parmesan focaccia and add a variety of your favorite fresh minced herbs like thyme, oregano, and marjoram to your egg custard to get a similar result.
Though we are huge fans of Gruyere cheese, you can absolutely make this dish with your favorite cheese too, so if sharp cheddar, gouda or fontina float your boat, by all means use the cheeses you love best!
A key to making this bread pudding is to let the bread cubes soak in the egg custard for at least 30 minutes, so the bread can soak up the moisture. You can let it soak longer, too, but be sure to leave it at least one half hour. This makes the pudding soft in the middle with the nice crispy edges. You can let it sit in or out of the refrigerator, but if you let it sit any longer than 30 minutes, we recommend refrigerating it until you’re ready to bake it.
Focaccia Bread Pudding with Caramelized Onions & Gruyere
- 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 5 cups herbed focaccia, cut into 1-inch cubs roughly 10 oz. of focaccia, can also use plain
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 cup half & half
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 1 1/4 cups Gruyere cheese, grated and split use 3/4 cup in the egg mixture and 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top before baking
- Heat butter or olive oil in a saute pan. Add onions and cook over low heat until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temp.
- Whisk together eggs, half & half, Dijon, salt, white pepper, 3/4 cup grated Gruyere and the cooled caramelized onions.
- Add cubed focaccia to the egg mixture and press bread down into the egg mixture to coat all of the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the egg mixture.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish or spray with cooking spray. Remove bread pudding from the refrigerator and remove plastic wrap.
- Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the remaining grated Gruyere evenly over the top.
- Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the cheese and bread on top looks golden brown.
- Serve hot!