I don’t have any trouble finding ways to use fresh-picked, locally grown strawberries; I just eat them. But inevitably, with any bucket of berries there are always a handful that are less than perfect—underripe or overripe, bruised, or just ugly. Those berries need a home in a recipe—like this one. I like the way whole grain bread balances the tartness of the berries.
4 cups lightly packed cubed whole wheat or whole grain bread (about 6 slices)
1/2 cup to 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups milk or almond milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cubed bread evenly in a 9-inch baking pan and sprinkle with the strawberries. Drizzle the bread with the melted butter. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until well beaten. Whisk in the milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Slowly pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread, taking care to soak all the bread. Gently push the bread into the liquid so that no dry pieces remain. Bake until pudding is set (it should spring back when lightly touched) and lightly browned on top, about 50 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 9 servings