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Julia’s French toast pudding

Got a lot of old bread? This French Toast Pudding will use it all up and satisfy your sweet tooth as well.

 

frenchbreadpudding 550x412 Julias French toast pudding

I’ve been told many times over the years that my approach to cooking is weird. Namely, I view recipes the way the Pirate’s Code is viewed in Pirates of the Caribbean — I think of it more as a set of guidelines. When I’m in the mood to make something new, my method is to look up as many different variations on that recipe I can find, pick and choose the ones I like, and make the rest up. Consequently, I don’t actually have solid recipes so much as basic concepts I re-use and tweak based on what’s in my refrigerator and what I feel like eating that day. I have tried submitting these as recipes with notes like “improvise here!” and “change this for this new form of the same thing!”, but I have been roundly told that that is not how recipes work. Which, as far as I’m concerned, sucks.

One of my favorite bases is something I found online that was called “bread pudding muffins.” The idea was that you took a cupcake liner, filled it with stale bread and half an egg, and baked it. And that’s a cool enough idea, but it’s super boring and clearly demands improvisation. But after two years of using this idea as a base, it has become my favorite thing ever. I eagerly await us having enough stale bread to make this. I’ve tried every variation under the sun. Sometimes I make it in cupcake tins. Sometimes I make it in a pan as a bake. I’ll add veggies, fruits, beans, spices, bacon, or pretty much whatever I can find hiding in my refrigerator. You can do anything with this. The sky is your limit. These two years of bread pudding experimentation have been delicious ones, and I have desperately wanted to write about this, only to realize that “get bread, eggs, and improvise!” did not pass muster as a recipe. And so I held off until I found one variation on it I loved enough to post.

I am proud to announce that I have found that variation.

Julia’s French Toast Pudding

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(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • ½ loaf of bread, cut in bite-sized cubes
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 heaping cup of strawberries, diced
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
  2. Mix the bread, strawberries, and raisins together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Hint: use actual maple syrup. I was, as a born and raised New Englander, distressed to learn that when most people say “maple syrup,” they mean “corn syrup that is flavored in a maple-like fashion.” Don’t subject yourself to such indignities. Go for the real stuff. Life is too short for fake maple syrup.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over your dry ingredients, mix with a spoon until the egg has coated all the bread bits.
  5. Grease a 12″x12″ pan. Do not go lightly on the grease (I’ve found that canola oil works best, but Crisco will do). Eggs are sticky. You’ll thank me later.
  6. Pour your egg and bread mixture into the greased pan, spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the egg mixture is solid and no liquid runs if you tilt the pan.

Suggestions: While this is good at any time, and I did eat it for basically every meal of my day, it’s best for breakfast and it’s best fresh. The bulk of prep time comes from cutting the bread and strawberries, so do that the night before and throw the rest together in the morning.

 

Photo Credit: Julia Hass

Categories: Baked Goods, Clack, General, Recipes

One Response to “Julia’s French toast pudding”

March 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM

. . . . .

Not only looks nifty, but I will be giving it a whirl …

Thanks, Julia