I first fell in love with Bread Pudding when my friend Megan who was cooking for Dave at Cafe Mirage was making it back in the late 90’s. I had never had bread pudding to my recollection, or at least not in this way- it was drier and more like french toast served in a cup that was crispy on the top. The bread puddings I think I had tried in the past were soppy gloppy structureless sludgy masses of dough and custard (sound appetizing? meh).
Then I discovered my Wife Rachel’s weakness for Bread Pudding- which was of a similar sort to the kind I wasn’t a big fan of, more bread texture and yet with a saucy kind of hard sauce that it was drenched in with maraschino cherries on top. As usual I set out to try to bridge the gap between what I was attracted to and what my love was attracted to. It’s still kind of a throw it together dish- that evolves each time I make it. I’ve made it with sourdough bread which was really yummy and less sweet and in this iteration- I’ve used the Brioche from Sweet Peas Bakery around the corner form us on Sound Beach Ave. in Old Greenwich. So without further adieu I bring you Brioche Bread Pudding/French Toast Hybrid.
- ¾ loaf of Brioche from your local bakery- fresh or stale is fine.
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups of milk (2% or greater, your choice)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of natural sugar
- ¼ freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp Indonesian Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Vanilla (I like the Penzeys double strength)
- 2-3 tbsp of Salted butter
- ⅛ cup of natural sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375º
- Combine the Milk, Eggs, Sugar, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Vanilla and whisk to dissolve sugar and incorporate the eggs. Tear up the Brioche and add it to the liquid mixture. Your finished produce should be quite wet still, with the Brioche filling your bowl and liquid still quite visible.
- Coat the inside of a loaf pan with the butter as best you can and cut the remaining bits up and leave them in the pan, tossing them in the ⅛ cup of sugar and coating the bottom and sides of the pan with the sugar.
- Fill the pan with the mixture until you are 1 inch form the lip of the pan (you can fill it to ¼ inch but it will overflow when it starts to bake)
- Bake for approximately 1 hour in the loaf pan placed on a jelly roll or baking sheet with an edge to catch any overflow.
- The bread pudding is cooked when the internal temp reaches 160º