Do-Ahead Bread Pudding with a Sephardic Back-Story
Photo: Sara Gardner

Do-Ahead Bread Pudding with a Sephardic Back-Story

Contributed by Sara Gardner

As Yom Kippur approaches, the question of what to make for break fast that’s easy and do-ahead is paramount. The break fast meal, whether you have a big party or keep it a simple family affair, is an important part of the Yom Kippur experience, the gastronomic punctuation that marks the end of the High Holidays

And just as critically, it’s the crucial moment that that separates hangry family members from happily fed humans.

Yet the challenge of keeping the break fast from getting boring always remains. To that end, this year I suggest swapping even some of the usual Ashkenazi fare – blintzes, bagels, and so on – for a different type of dish, a modern take on a Sephardic favorite: Revanada de Parida Bread Pudding.

kosher bread pudding with autumn plums
Photo: Sara Gardner

Revanadas de Parida – a name literally meaning “birth slices” –  is a dish especially beloved by the Sephardic communities of the ex-Ottoman Empire.

Made by soaking day-old pieces of bread in milk, frying them, and then topping them with a sweet orange or raisin syrup (this is called arrope), a new mother would traditionally be served this dish after giving birth, because it was believed to help her produce milk, besides being a nourishing dish.

Despite the slightly shocking name, Revanadas is comfortingly similar to our modern-day French toast, or the modern Spanish Easter food called torrijas.

In fact, the name makes it even more appropriate as a Yom Kippur break fast dish, one that can revive those feeling drained after a day of fasting and offer a sweet start – or birth, if you pardon the extended metaphor –  of the New Year.

As good as the original recipe is, though, who would want to be frying French toast while fasting?

do-ahead bread pudding with seasonal plums
photo: Sara Gardner

So, instead of making the slices one by one, I’ve adapted the recipe so you can compose slices of day-old challah or brioche into a creamy bread pudding then top it with a seasonal and sweet plum syrup, spiced with cinnamon, lemon, and cardamom.

It’s so easy, you can even make the bread pudding and syrup the day ahead, popping it into the oven to reheat just before you break fast guests arrive. And with the possibility for everyone to add as much or as little plum syrup as they like, there won’t be a bored break-faster in the house.


About Sara Gardner:

 A food historian and blogger, Sara Gardner is currently based in Connecticut. Just back from a year in Madrid, Spain as a Fulbright Scholar, Sara shares her passion for Jewish (especially Sephardic Jewish) cooking and food history on her blog, Boka Dulse .

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