I had put the brioche I made a few weeks ago into the freezer because I have no self control when it comes to bread and butter and I needed it to be off of my counter immediately. Brian and I are moving into a new apartment this week (ugh, but yay!) so I needed to do something with it to help lighten the moving load.
I kind of knew that I wanted to do a bread pudding or a french toast with it. Brioche or croissants are really the only breads that you should be using in those two dishes. I wandered the grocery store looking for some flavor inspiration, and stumbled upon Califia Farms Cold Brew Almond Milks. There was one that was salted caramel flavor which is a weakness so I grabbed it, an unsweetened vanilla almond milk and dozen eggs. That would be my custard. Inspiration train on full speed, and bread pudding town the next stop!
I was pleasantly surprised with the consistency of this bread pudding. I normally will use a combo of whole milk and heavy cream to get that thick custard holding together the pillowy chunks of brioche, so I wasn't sure if the almond milk would be creamy enough to produce the same texture I was looking for. To help account for this I added one more egg yolk than I normally would use and held my breath for 40 minutes until the oven timer dinged. It is with much pride that I present a quick recipe for you this week. I added chocolate chunks and walnuts to mine, but get creative! Also, this would be pure delight served with the No-Churn Bourbon Ice Cream I serve with my peach cobbler... O-M-G
Apologies for the lack of story here, folks, but I may have used this baking experiment as a procrastination tactic. I have another awesome post waiting in the wings for later in the week. Just editing some photos... and unpacking some boxes.
Recipe: Bread Pudding with Almond Milk Custard
yields one 9x13in pan of bread pudding (~8-10 servings)
The Bits and Bobs:
8-10 cups brioche bread, cubed and left to "stale" overnight on the counter **Brioche Recipe Here**
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
5 cups almond milk of your choice (I used one 10 oz bottle of the Califia Farms salted caramel cold brew coffee and the rest was unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
5 whole + 1 yolk eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp almond extract)
optional mix-in ideas:
chocolate chunks (I used a combo of white and dark)
nuts (I had some walnuts lying around so used those)
The night before you plan to bake, slice the bread into cubes (size doesn't really matter, but I like mine to be chunky) and leave in an uncovered bowl on the counter to stale overnight. Alternatively, you can toast the cubes in the oven on the broiler setting for 5-10 minutes, until just barely golden brown.
Grease a 9x13inch pan (at least 2 inches deep) and dump the toasted or stale cubes of bread into the pan. Spread evenly. If using any additional mix-ins, pour evenly over the bread.
Whisk together the butter, milk, eggs, salt and extract. Pour all of the contents slowly over the bread, taking care to get all of the bread covered. Push down the bread slightly to make sure it soaks up the custard. Move the pan to the refrigerator and allow to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Allow to bake for 45-50 minutes. The custard will look no longer be liquid and will look set. A fork inserted in the middle should come out relatively clean. Allow to cool for ten or so minutes before serving. Best served with ice cream... like this No-Churn Bourbon Ice Cream :)