See also: Bread Pudding Recipes
What to do with leftover bread? That question probably arose soon after the invention of bread (and that’s another story!)
To make bread pudding an oven is really necessary - you can't make it very well in a pot over a fire. And the oven needs to be in the home - and very few homes had ovens of any type until the 18th century. In cultures where bread was primarily baked by a professional bakery - as in France etc. - homes did not have 'ovens'. Puddings of all types were very popular in England. Bread pudding most likely originated there in the late 1600s.
Bread pudding is a ‘common’ dessert, definetly not haute cuisine. But beloved by many just the same, especially in New Orleans, where you will find a huge number of variations. All basically bread, eggs, milk, sugar and flavoring.