Savoury Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding with Tomato Hollandaise

Hello Lovely,

I'm so excited to share my first attempted recipe from the Magnolia Table recipe book by Joanna Gaines. Remember when I shared my must buy book list? I bought two books from that list, and this is the first one I'm sharing on. I was too excited to purchase this book and get started! I actually started reading the book while running errands with my cousin in Florida and couldn't wait to plan which recipes to try. It was a little overwhelming picking one to start with, but I figured with Breakfast being the most important (and my favourite) meal of the day, I'd start there.

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There were a lot of different recipes. After pantry essentials, the book starts with breakfast and the very first one is Joanna's biscuits that she serves her family every Saturday morning. She said it took a year to perfect and now the restaurant serves them. I'm not much of a biscuit fan so I kept going. There were like three different quiche recipes, but I had just made a quiche in June. It wasn't anything new for me. Then I saw two different bread pudding recipes. I originally meant to try the first one, but got them mixed up and ended up making this one instead. Bread pudding is typically a dessert for us so it was really interesting to see it as a breakfast option. I've never liked bread pudding, but the way Joanna worded it, was really enticing. 

The hardest part with following recipes, for me is using butter. I learned over 10 years ago how fattening butter and margarine can be, so I've always used some sort of substitute like non-stick spray or applesauce. I did make a mistake with this recipe though. I forgot to chop the ham, so when it was time to cut the dish, it was really hard and sloppy. DON'T MAKE THAT MISTAKE! I also only cut enough bread to cover the bottom, because I could've sworn that's what the recipe said to do, but it was still quite filling even with the bread slices only on the bottom. My bread pudding was finished in 40 minutes so I suggest you watch your oven, as times may vary.

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Savoury Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding with Tomato Hollandaise


  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or garlic and pepper seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder (I used real mustard)
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 - 1lb loaf French bread, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 8 oz. thickly sliced deli Black Forest ham, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
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  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground white pepper


  1. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream until well blended. Whisk in the thyme, garlic, salt, mustard, paprika, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Trim the crusts from the bread. Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with the bread, cutting the slices as needed to fit. Top evenly with the chopped ham and cheddar. Cover with the rest of the bread, again cutting the slices to fit.
  4. Pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly over the bread, letting it seep down between the slices. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Press gently from time to time to help the bread absorb the liquid.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Bake until deep golden on the top and just set and a knife inserted in the centre comes out moist but not wet, about 50 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  8. While the pudding is baking, make the tomato hollandaise sauce: In a medium stainless-steel bowl or the top of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water. Nest the bowl over a pot of simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk the mixture until the egg yolks thicken and double in volume, 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Whisking constantly, add the butter in a slow steady stream. The sauce will thicken and increase in volume. Add the 2 teaspoons tomato paste, the cayenne and white pepper. Stir in more tomato paste if desired for deeper flavour and colour.
  10. Serve the pudding topped with a spoonful of the tomato hollandaise sauce.
  11. The casserole is best served the day it is made. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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