Some days are simply the best, not only because Lady Gaga sang Imagine (!), but also because I am happily anticipating a weekend long with some of my closest friends.
Tomorrow afternoon I will take the train to Amsterdam after work and have a blisfull four-hour snoring nap direct connection. While I seem to be on the road quite a bit these days, I am happy to hold on to some habits, other than obsessively making lists of what to hoard in which city (chocolate, cheese, liquorice, riesling, anyone?;)).
One of the light beacons in my daily routine is to have a nice and hearty breakfast, preferrably ready in the fridge. And with that I don’t mean a slippery gloopy bowl of ‘overnight blah blah’ but something that is buttery and can be sliced into.
Bread pudding seems to unite my love for warm breakfast with the happiness of making use of odd ends and bits without throwing anything out. This recipe is nothing new and nothing out of the ordinary. Nevertheless it took me 28 years to find it (and no, I have not been hiding under a rock).
The last couple of weeks I have made this endlessly and without shame I will even tell you that I have used perfectly fresh bread for this.
Cheesy Bread Pudding
Depending on what kind of breakfast person you are, this will make between 4-8 servings. The amounts in this recipes are indications, feel free to adjust to your liking and to what is hiding in your fridge and pantry.
- 300-400 grams of (old) bread, broken into large pieces. I have found that ciabatta or airy bread is the best for this purpose, as it has enough ‘holes’ to soak up all of the eggy mixture. Having said that, dense sourdough bread still makes a wonderfull bread pudding, so whatever you have on your hands, just go for it.
- 3-4 eggs
- 250-300 milliliters of full-fat milk (you can also substitute this with buttermilk or even partly with yoghurt)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 250 grams of mushrooms, slices (uncooked)
- 150 grams of cheese, I used a mixture of Old Amsterdam mature cheese and young goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon of mild, wholegrain mustard
- 1 teaspoon of fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme (or dried herbs, but only use 1/4 teaspoon of this as it tends to be stronger tasting)
- a pinch of cayenne pepper or dried chilliflakes (optionally, if you like your mornings just as spicy as I do;)).
Mix the mustard, milk (or yoghurt), eggs, herbs, salt and chilli pepper (if using) together in an oven dish. Just a simple whisk with a fork will do. Then put the bread pieces on top of this and mix all with your hands. Sprinkle the cheese over it and top all with the sliced mushrooms. The mushrooms will release their juices in the oven and will provide a really nice ‘dressing’ to the bread pudding underneath.