This bread pudding is what came with us over Memorial Day weekend for a reunion with family. It’s a huge hit and has a ton of different ways to top it for all tastes. I keep it true to form and top it with fruit that I’ve reduced on the stove – this particular time I kept it easy on myself after a busy week and took frozen peaches and berries and placed them with a little water on the stove for a few hours on a low heat.
This recipe is from the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. I was blessed enough to get to go. When you originally come into the bakery you’d never realize how famous it is by it’s simple placement and appointments. It’s wonderfully homey and I only wish it were closer. This dish made my morning heaven, and the plane harder to board.
6 brioche slices, cut 1-inch thick
8 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups whole milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9×5-inch glass loaf pan [or an 8×8-inch glass baking pan, which worked perfectly fine]. Arrange the brioche slices on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and salt and whisk until completely blended. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve.
Place the toasted bread slices in the prepared loaf pan, cutting the slices to fit as needed. Pour the custard evenly over the bread, filling the dish to the top. You may not be able to add all of the custard at this point. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, so that the bread can absorb the custard.
Just before baking, top off the dish with more of [leftover] custard if the previous addition has been completely absorbed. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, place in the oven, and bake the pudding for about 1 hour. To test for doneness, uncover the dish, slip a knife into the center, and push the bread aside. If the custard is still very liquid, re-cover the dish and return the pudding to the oven for another 10 minutes. If only a little liquid remains, the pudding is ready to come out of the oven. The custard will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven and it will set up as it cools.
Let the pudding cool for about 10 minutes before serving. You can serve the bread pudding by slicing it and removing each slice with an offset spatula, or by scooping it out with a serving spoon.
As I have mentioned above, the bread pudding can be served topped with seasonal fruits in delicious caramel sauce. While the bread pudding is cooling, peel and slice a couple of peaches. In a medium pan, warm the peaches together with some blueberries and raspberries or other fruits in season in Tartine’s caramel sauce (recipe below). Top the bread pudding with the warm fruit-caramel mixture before serving.
If you have left over bread pudding, the cookbook suggests chilling it, slicing it, and frying it as you would French toast.
Find the entire recipe here.