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07/03/2012

~ Blueberry Brioche Bread Pudding for Breakfast ~

PICT0001I know, I know, I know... the bread pudding police have officially classified bread pudding as a baked dessert.  That being said, some rules are made to be broken and, like pancakes and waffles, I prefer hearty, comforting bread pudding as a main course start to my day, rather than an excessive dessert ending to it (not that there is anything wrong with that).  I love it when I go to a restaurant and see a sweet or savory bread pudding on their breakfast or brunch menu. I love the look on my guests faces when I serve them a sweet or savory bread pudding for breakfast. Yes folks, savory bread puddings, which are as versatile as quiche, can contain all sorts of meats, cheeses and vegetables ranging from asparagus to zucchini.  When I indulge in bread pudding for breakfast, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling all over that says, "today is going to be a very nice day".  What's more, it's easy to make and can be mixed together the night before!

6a0120a8551282970b015391cb26eb970b-320wiA bit about brioche and my bread machine brioche:  Brioche is a soft, light-textured, sweetened, yeast bread that is enriched with milk, butter and eggs.  This French classic is traditionally baked in a deep, round, fluted tin that is smaller at its flat base and wider at its top, which encourages the dough to rise.  All brioche does take time to prepare, usually requiring three, rather than just two risings. Brioche is usually a delicacy served warm at breakfast or teatime.

6a0120a8551282970b0154359e9dea970c-320wiIn my opinion, brioche is the best bread known to mankind.  In today's world, even I (who is a skilled bread baker) no longer have the time to devote the better part of one day each week to baking brioche for my family.  For that reason, I was determined to make close friends with my bread machine and develop a brioche recipe for it that enables me to have it on-hand every day of the week.  Yes, with less than 5 minutes of prep time, I now have "real" brioche in my kitchen at all times.  You can too!  

My recipe for ~ Bread Machine Basics & My Brioche Recipe ~ can be found in Categories 5, 15 or 18.  Pictured here is a freshly-baked 2-pound loaf!

PICT0007Bread pudding is the perfect use for leftover brioche and for my recipe, you'll need between 16-20 ounces (1-1 1/4 pounds), or, half of a 2-pound loaf, sliced into 1/2" cubes. The bread must be 2-3 days old.  

PICT0005I've kept this half loaf wrapped in plastic in my refrigerator with the full intention of making bread pudding!

PICT0002~ Step 1.  Line a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan with parchment paper and spray the inside of 8, deep, 2-cup ramekins with no-stick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

~ Step 2.  Cube the bread as directed above and place about 3/4 cup of cubes in the bottom of each prepared ramekin.

PICT0004~ Step 3.  You'll need 4 cups of blueberries.  Place 1/2 cup of berriess in each ramekin.    

PICT0004Gently press down on the berries, to create a headspace for the final layer of bread cubes.

PICT0003~ Step 4.  Top each ramekin with an additional 1/2 cup of bread cubes.

PICT0006Note: Because the bread is going to brown as it bakes, at this point I like to take a moment to turn as many cubes as possible crust side down.

PICT0004~ Step 5.  In an 8-cup measuring container with a pourer spout, whisk together:

1  cup sugar

8  large eggs + 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 1/2  cups heavy or whipping cream, at room temperature

2  teaspoons pure lemon extract

1  tablespoon pure vanilla extract

PICT0008~ Step 6.  Slowly pour the egg mixture into the ramekins, giving it plenty of time to drizzle down through all the cracks and crevaces until it almost reaches the fill line/inside lip of each ramekin.

~ Step 7.  Set aside for 30-45 minutes. During this time, occasionally press down on the tops to help the top bread cubes to absorb the custard mixture.

PICT0003~ Step 8.  Sprinkle Sugar 'n Cinnamon evenly over the tops of all.  Wipe any excess from the rim of each ramekin as you work.

PICT0010

 

 

 

 

~ Step 9.  Bake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  The bread pudding will be nicely browned, puffed up, oozing blueberry juices & some custard, but the pudding will be set!

Serve warm, with or without freshly whipped cream or ice cream. Leftover bread pudding reheats nicely.  Cover with plastic wrap and reheat gently in the microwave!

PICT0001Blueberry Brioche Bread Pudding for Breakfast:  Recipe yields 8 hearty servings.

Special Equipment List:  17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; parchment paper; 8, 2-cup size ramekins; cutting board; serrated bread knife; 8-cup measuring container; whisk

PICT0008Cook's Note:  For another delicious blueberry breakfast idea, you can find my recipe for ~ An Old-Fashioned Very-Berry Blueberry Buckle ~ in Categories 6 or 9.  FYI: A "buckle" is a coffeecake that contains fruit or berries!

Extra Cook's Note:  Bread pudding can be assembled, covered and refrigerated overnight. Remove it from the refrigerator about 1-1 1/2 hours prior to baking as directed.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

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