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Italian Bread Pudding Recipe

Italian bread pudding recipe: the Pinza is a typical sweet of Veneto, Friuli and some valleys of Trentino.

It’s dessert of peasant origin where yellow and white polenta flour are processed with stale bread, yeast, sugar, eggs and raisins, candied citrus fruits or seeds. It is often accompanied by mulled wine.

This recipe was passed down by my mother, who in turn had it from her mother who learnt it from her own mother. So it goes back to my great grandma from the Venetian countryside, but it is a cake which is prepared all over Veneto and every household has its own version. Since it was prepared with leftovers an original recipe does not exists!

italian bread pudding recipe

Pinza – Venetian bread pudding


200 gr. polenta flour (yellow or white)

4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped in small bits

60 gr. raisins

200 gr. dry figs

60 gr. pine nuts

300 gr. stale bread

1 egg

2 spoons of sugar (could need more)

1 small glass of grappa


fennel seeds



  • Place the bread in a bowl with some milk and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Now place in a large deep pan the bread and the milk, the apples, the raisins, the figs, the pine nuts, the sugar, the grappa, a pinch of salt.
  • Stir well and then add the polenta flour and the egg.
  • Place on a low heat and stir – if you are using quick cooking polenta flour, then cook only for 5 minutes, if you are using regular polenta flour, cook for 20 minutes stirring all the time.
  • Add the fennel seeds and stir.
  • Check to make sure it is sweet enough, otherwise add more sugar.
  • Place this mixture in a large pie dish, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 1 hour at 180 degrees.
italian bread pudding recipe