My mom and grandma make the best bread pudding and one of them usually makes it every Thanksgiving and Christmas and while some would call it a dessert….we Hoppens call it a side dish. Saturday was a cool crisp fall morning and the first one of the season and we had every intention of venturing out for brunch but home just was too cozy. We stayed in our pajamas and made apple cider mimosas with our neighbors cider and ate half of a 9×13 pan of bread pudding. I have found surprisingly a lot of people say they don’t like bread pudding. And then I find out how they’ve been eating it. Guys, don’t eat pre made bread pudding. It’s too easy to whip up yourself and it looks and tastes impressive.
Since we were making this for technically breakfast I wanted it to be a little bit more custardy/eggy (that’s a word right? like a professional culinary term?) I wanted a bread pudding french toast hybrid. I’m pretty thrilled that this used almost 10 eggs from all of our own chickens who are still laying pretty regularly. When the temps drop and the day light hours get short they tend to slow on production. I had a left over baguette from dinner the night before so that is what I used for the base. You are going to want your bread at least a day old but still soft enough to cut into.
You’ll need about 6 – 7 cups of bread sliced into 1 inchish cubes. Bread pudding is rustic so the cuts do not have to be perfect. If you have the energy to do something with the left over egg whites like make a meringue do it! This recipe is going to use mostly the yolks. And then the most important ingredient. The ingredient that sets this apart from all of it’s friends is the white chocolate. Not only is white chocolate IN the bread pudding it’s in the glaze we are going to drizzle on top of the dish.
Here is what you are going to need:
7 cups of crusty bread cut into cubes. I used left over baguette
3.5 cups of heavy cream. split into 3 cups and 1/2 cup
1 cup of whole milk (we’re not going for calorie cutting here, clearly)
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
18 oz (or 1.5 bags) of white chocolate chips
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
Here is how to make the White Chocolate Bread Pudding:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and use either a non stick baking pan or grease a baking pan (9×13) size. I love using my staub bakeware or my Le Creuset bakeware because nothing sticks to these bad boys. Joe will still try to “soak” them instead of washing them but everything washes right off of them.
2. In a medium sized saucepan heat up to a simmer the three cups of heavy cream, milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. remove from heat and stir in 12 ounces (one bag) of the white chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Allow to cool about 10 minutes. While things are cooling a bit separate the 7 egg yolks into a bowl. Add the two extra eggs to the yolks.
3. Slowly pour the egg yolks into the white chocolate mixture and whisk hard as you do so. The goal is to not let the eggs scramble and continuously whisking will keep them saucy. Once the eggs and the milk mixture are combined add in the 2 tbsp of vanilla extract. Add in the bread crumbs and stir until incorporated. Pour into the prepared baking dish and allow to sit for 30 minutes so the bread can really soak up that egg mixture.
4. Cover with a layer of foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove foil and continue to bake another 15 minutes until the top is golden brown. While the bread pudding is baking that last 15 minutes start making the white chocolate sauce.
5. In a small saucepan gently heat the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Stir in the 6oz of remaining white chocolate chips (half bag) and whisk or stir until smooth. If it seems too thick add just a dash more cream a bit at a time until you get a nice drizzle when you lift the whisk up.
6. Once the bread pudding is done baking take out of the oven and drizzle the white chocolate sauce over top. Allow to rest about 5 minutes. Serve hot however left overs are pretty good too with a cup of coffee.
For apple cider mimosa’s pour some champagne and instead of orange juice swap it out for apple cider. Delicious!