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Savory Bread Pudding

January 12, 2012

I promised to pass on the following recipe to a friend, but I loved it too much to keep to a small circle of friends. Instead, I thought I’d share it here.

I can’t lay claim to this recipe (just the adjustments I made to it and the comments I have on it — all listed below). It comes from “The Food52 Cookbook.” The recipe (which originated on the website) is fairly flexible and there’s a lot that could be added or adjusted to make it taste just the way you want.

What you’ll need (it looks more intimidating that it really is):

  • 3 cups cubed bread (I used French bread. The recipe called for 1-inch cubes, but I cut it larger — and used more than 3 cups)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (you can substitute skim milk, but what’s the point?)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, diced (I actually used pancetta. I think any cooked pork product would do — bacon, ham, etc.)
  • 2 shallots, minced (I left this out — I was making it for my nephews and wasn’t sure they’d like it)
  • 4 crimini mushrooms, sliced (I left this out, as well, for the same reason listed above. I think it would be amazing with mushrooms, but it was still good without them)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Black pepper
  • 4 ounces chèvre, finely crumbled (you could use almost any crumbly cheese for this — I used feta because I couldn’t find chèvre in our little town. The feta made it a bit saltier than I would have liked. Next time, I’ll use ricotta)
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyère or Parmesan (I used Parmesan)

The directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and toast the bread for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. This is an important step because it gives the bread pudding a little extra texture.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, yolk, milk and cream until thoroughly blended.
  3. In a 9-by-9 baking pan (this size is important because you want the egg mixture to cover the bread), toss together the bread cubes, prosciutto (or other meat), shallots, mushrooms, thyme and pepper. Gently stir in the chèvre (or other cheese).
  4. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes. Top with cheese to create a golden crust. Bake for 25 to 40 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees.

As you can imagine, the final bread pudding was rich and creamy. Toasting the bread beforehand ensured that the pudding retained just enough bite to avoid being mushy. And the recipe was more amazing the next day. I didn’t even reheat it. Just snagged some out of the pan and ate it as it was.

Also, I would highly recommend the cookbook. There’s an amazing-looking recipe for smoked ham that I want to try, but I have to figure out where to find pomegranate molasses

From → Creativity

  1. amber permalink

    Since I watch A LOT of cooking shows, I recently learned that pomegranate molasses is an Asian ingredient, so you could probably find it anywhere Asian foods are sold. Just an FYI. 🙂

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