A savory bread pudding is one of the most versatile and filling brunch or supper egg dishes you can make. Sometimes I make individual ones in ramekins, but they work well in any 2-quart baking dish. (A 9” x 13” x 2” baking dish has a 2-quart volume.) In fact, this one started out as a variation on Mini Savory Bread Puddings with Tuscan Kale, Bacon & Cheddar. Feel free to change up ingredients – the type of bread, the cheeses, the vegetables, the herbs — as long as you keep amounts the same. I love challah for the light quality it gives, but any good bread—even croissants and English muffins—can be used in a savory bread pudding.

By the way, savory bread puddings get more flavorful as they sit, so give them time to cool a bit and save some for next-day leftovers!

Serves 8

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for rubbing the pan
• 6 ounces challah, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
• Kosher salt
• 4 strips bacon
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 to 2 ½ cups very small broccoli florets (about 4 ounces)
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
• 7 eggs
• 2 ½ cups half and half
• 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs (any combination thyme, parsley, chives or your choice)
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 ½ cups (packed) coarsely grated gruyere cheese, cheddar, aged gouda or any other cheese you love (about 4 ounces)

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rub a two-quart shallow baking dish all over with a little butter. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about eight minutes. Let the bread cool for a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a mixing bowl.

2. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the bread cubes, stirring. Season the bread with a pinch of salt and toss well.

3. Put the bacon in a medium or large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and crumble when cool. Drain all but a few teaspoons of the bacon fat from the pan and let the pan cool a minute.

4. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the broccoli and stir. Cover the pan loosely (if you don’t have a lid, use a sheet pan) and cook, undisturbed, for a minute or two (covering will steam the broccoli a bit while it is browning) and continue to cook and stir another minute or two, until all the broccoli has some browning. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.

5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, the half and half, the herbs, the Worcestershire, several grinds of black pepper, and a scant teaspoon of salt. Whisk well to combine.

6. Arrange half of the bread cubes over the bottom of the baking dish. Scatter half of the bacon (including any crumbs), half of the broccoli, and half of the cheese over the bread. Repeat with the remaining bread cubes, bacon, broccoli, and cheese.

7. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the contents of the baking dish. Using your fingers or palms, gently press down on the bread and veggies to force the custard to evenly surround everything. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

8. Bake until the pudding is risen, set in the middle, and very golden around the edges, about 30 minutes. (Begin checking at 25 minutes and check every five minutes as oven temperatures vary.)

9. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes (more if you can — flavors deepen over time) and serve warm. Alternatively, you can cool completely, refrigerate, and reheat individual helpings in the microwave or the oven.