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Thread: Breakfast Bread Pudding (Mark Bittman)

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Breakfast Bread Pudding (Mark Bittman)

    By now, some of you have figured out that I love my carbs, but also stick to whole grains. I also love bread puddings, but most I've done use challah, croissants, white sourdough, etc., so I was very happy to find this new Breakfast Bread Pudding in Mark Bittman's new Food Matters breakfast section. There's minimal sweetness and fat here, with just two eggs and a cup of milk and a quarter cup of sweetener, so it's really all about the custard soaked bread and fruit.

    I was lucky enough to find a nice round, soft loaf of a six grain bread at a small local store, and it worked perfectly here. That said, it was still a bit of shock to bite into it and taste whole grains instead of the usual white, but I forgot all about the difference a bite or two later.

    I used a single pint container of blueberries from the freezer rather than the apples, agave instead of honey, and sliced almonds rather than walnuts, so there was a nice nutritional boost in my version, too. The possible variations you can create are endless here.

    There's also a savory variation, using lightly cooked vegetables, but I'm going to save my poor old fingers for the moment and just type the basic.

    I look forward to snacking on this later, too, because I just so happen to have a half gallon of blueberry ice cream in the freezer. I suspect this is going to become a staple here in Woodstock.

    Bob

    *******************************************

    Breakfast Bread Pudding
    ("Food Matters"; Mark Bittman

    Makes 4 - 6 servings
    Time: about 1-1/2 hours, largely unattended

    Not your usual bread pudding; this has less custard and more bread, fruit and nuts. For variety, use pears, peaches, cherries, or blueberries instead of the apples.

    Butter or grapeseed oil for greasing the pan (used spray)
    2 eggs
    1 cup milk (used 2%)
    1/4 cup honey, or to taste (used 1/4 cup agave)
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    pinch salt (oops! )
    4 medium to large apples, cored, peeled or not, and cut into chunks or slices
    1/2 cup raisins, optional (didn't use)
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (used a handful of sliced almonds)

    8 slices whole or multigrain bread (preferably stale), cut into 1 inch cubes, about 3 cups
    (my loaf was round, just went by the cups, not slices)

    1. Heat the oven to 350. Butter a 1-1/2 quart or 8 inch square baking dish. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk, honey, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the apples, raisins and nuts. Then fold in the bread cubes, using your hands or a rubber spatula to make sure everything is evenly coated. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed; give it another good stir. (The liquid didn't all absorb, probably because the frozen berries added some, but it didn't matter at all.)

    2. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish and smooth out the top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden and only a little wobbly in the center. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting.

    Serve warm or cold. This keeps well for 2 days or more, covered and refrigerated.
    Last edited by bobmark226; 01-03-2009 at 09:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    Good grief Bob, I'm drooling!

    Can't wait to try this one, and to receive my copy of his book...and thanks to you for increasding my Bittman-love

    ~Gail
    "I expect to pass through life but once.
    If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
    -William Penn (1644-1718)

    ~~www.Nurse-Gail.com~~

  3. #3
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    your timing couldn't be better. i have some whole grain bread going stale, blueberries in the freezer, plenty of almonds ... clearly, i'm going with your version. i'm also a whole-grain carb fiend, so this is really perfect for me.

    did you use the cinnamon? how do you think lemon rind would work?
    ~ Learn something new every day ~

  4. #4
    Mmm, just made this with blueberries. It was good and so easy. Thanks for posting. I'll try it with apples, too.

  5. #5
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    ~Gail, as always, thanks for the kind words. "Thank you" is always welcome!

    Francophilia, yes, I used the cinnamon, but the 6 grain loaf I had was pretty strong tasting, so it was kind of lost. I'd definitely increase it, but I'm also looking forward to trying cardamon or ginger perhaps, as well as vanilla or almond extract. I'll also use vanilla soy milk next time for the nutritional bump.

    Mary, thanks for the review, glad you liked it!

    This morning I nuked a nice big square and drizzled some maple syrup on top. It was like instant French toast! (For those who have glucose concerns, I did a reading two hours later, and was well below an acceptable number.)

    I'm already dreaming up variations, like using macadamias and dried pineapple and golden raisins, pears and pecans, etc. etc.

    Any of you who use packaged supermarket loaves, I'd like to know how it works. I did use fresh bread, chunked large, but I'm thinking regular slices in, cubed, staled, would be even better!

    Bob

  6. #6
    I used fresh, white sandwich bread, cubed small. I thought it'd come soupy because I used frozen berries but it wasn't at all. I diced up sourdough first but then decided that might be too weird in a sweet dish and threw it out.

  7. #7
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    This sounds wonderful and I cannot wait to try it soon. Thanks so much for posting, Bob!
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  8. #8
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    Another thanks to Bob! This was on my "to try" list after reading Food Matters this weekend, but it has just moved up a notch! Today is bread baking day, so we are sure to have some leftover slices of whole wheat bread to use for this dish later in the week. And I *love* the change to blueberries and almonds as I have both of those on hand.

  9. #9
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    Thanks, Bob -- I LOVE bread pudding for breakfast! I've been finishing up the last of Christmas's for breakfast the last couple of days! I'll give this a try soon!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  10. #10
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    Oh yeah! I just found a small, round loaf of multi-grain bread at Publix (thanks Bob! never would have thought to use this!!)...I'm already planning ahead for next week-end

    ~Gail
    "I expect to pass through life but once.
    If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
    -William Penn (1644-1718)

    ~~www.Nurse-Gail.com~~

  11. #11
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    This recipe is certainly going to be a help in the freezer clean-out, too, as I can use some of the not-so-hot loaves marked "toast only"" languishing there.

    I defrosted a Clayton potato bread made with white ww, cubed and dried it, then adapted the popular Farmer's Casserole recipe, using cubed ham, shredded sharp cheddar and scallions as the add-ins. It came out very well, though, again, with a whole grain loaf, the cheese was somewhat lost, but somehow came out more with this morning's re-heating.

    The bread was so hard from an overnight sit, it really sucked up the liquid to the point I was worried about it being too dry, so I added some milk to the pan when I put it in the oven, and it came out just fine.

    Bob

  12. #12
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    I'll add my thanks, Bob, for posting this recipe. It sounds great and I especially like your ham/cheddar adaptation as I'm not much of a sweet breakfast type. I'll try it this weekend or before if I'm able to get a loaf of whole grain bread prior.

    Kate

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate B View Post
    I'll add my thanks, Bob, for posting this recipe. It sounds great and I especially like your ham/cheddar adaptation as I'm not much of a sweet breakfast type.
    Kate, if you're a stuffing fan, you might try the savory version I did for this morning's breakfast. I'd found a small package of loose breakfast sausage in the freezer, so I defrosted it and used poultry seasoning for the spicing. I did stick with the scallions because unlike onions, they don't need to be sauteed first in this kind of recipe. Worked very well!

    Bob

  14. #14
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    Bob,

    I LOVE stuffing; your latest adaptation sounds great! I appreciate you sharing it.

    I've decided I need to leave my job so I have more time to try all of the recipes I'd like to! Just trying to figure out the $$$ aspect of my plan now.

    Thanks again,

    Kate

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up Wow!

    Just made this recipe for breakfast! Even DH, who is not into breakfast, liked it! I only made half a batch since it's just the two of us. I used light vanilla soy milk and I didn't have raisins but I threw in some currents. Other than that, I followed the recipe. Warmed up some maple syrup to drizzle on the top.

    Yum. I think this will be a weekend stand-by.
    "I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food."
    ---W.C.Fields

  16. #16
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    Thanks for posting Bob. I made this for Sunday breakfast and we liked it very much. I had a piece for breakfast this morning with maple syrup and liked it even better.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate B View Post
    I've decided I need to leave my job so I have more time to try all of the recipes I'd like to! Just trying to figure out the $$$ aspect of my plan now.

    When you figure it out, be sure to let us know.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scout1222 View Post
    When you figure it out, be sure to let us know.
    I absolutely will!

    Kate

  19. #19
    I was so excited to try this recipe because it is exactly what I love for breakfast. The only change I made was to use skim milk. I measured the bread cubes rather than counting the slices since it was from odd-sized loaves. Following the original recipe, I used apples but only 3 1/2 since they were fairly large. Sorry to say, it just didn't work. As the original poster said, all of the liquid was not absorbed, and it resulted in dry bread cubes on top and a moist bottom, with lots of apple chunks throughout, but nothing resembling a bread pudding. It was not solid at all and although the taste is ok it isn't very appealing to look at.

    Can this apple version of the recipe be saved? Should I reduce the apples and wait until all the liquid is absorbed?

    DH says this is NOT bread pudding, more like granola on top and mush on the bottom.

    Carole

  20. #20
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    Carole, you took a full two-thirds of the fat-providing ingredients out of the recipe (1 cup milk, 2 eggs), substituting skim milk, which has absolutely none, and you're wondering why it didn't work, why it was soggy, rather than rich and why you got a hard, dry top? This isn't a substitution I'd ever make here, nor would I use egg substitute, for those who might ask.

    Besides, one serving of the recipe, a quarter of it, provides exactly 1/2 cup milk and half an egg! Why would you need to de-fat it?

    Absorption - depends on the freshness/staleness of the bread. The first time the-original-poster-also-known-as-Bob made it, the bread was quite fresh. I know that's why it didn't soak in, but I let it sit and most did, but left enough to surround the cubes with a bit of custard. I also used frozen blueberries, which, thawing right in there, added liquid. Next time out, when the bread was cubed and staled to very hard overnight, it wasn't enough.

    I will say that when I first read the recipe, all those apples sounded like way too much for me, and I probably would have used substantially less, maybe two, and chopped them fairly fine as well.

    I've done the recipe four times now and never had anything remotely close to what you got, "granola on top and mush on the bottom," nor did the other posters who've made it so far.

    Bob

  21. #21
    Thanks, Bob. I used jumbo eggs but only had skim milk so I didn't intentionally defat it--just used what I had. I may try again using substantially less apples cut much smaller or berries since that worked for others.

    Carole

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