How to make it

  • 1. Cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until well browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the skillet. Stir onion and salt into the fat left in the skillet, cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and releases its juices, about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown, about 6 minutes.
  • 2. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and browned, about 12 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through baking. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool.
  • 3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with the butter.
  • 4. Whisk the yolks, cream, milk, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Add the toasted bread and toss until evenly coated. Let the mixture sit until the bread softens and begins to absorb the custard, about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. (If the majority of the bread is still too hard after 30 minutes, let it soak for another 15 to 20 minutes.)
  • 5. Pour half of the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 1/4 cup more Parmesan and bacon and onion slices. Pour the remaining bread mixture into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until the custard is just set, about 60 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through the baking time.
  • 6. Remove the bread pudding from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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