Breakfast Bread Pudding
Source of Recipe
From "The Artisanal Kitchen: Baking for Breakfast" by Cheryl Day
"This savory bread pudding reminds Griff of the Minnesota hot dishes that he grew up eating. It's a simple do-ahead recipe I make for brunch, but with the bacon, mushrooms, and fontina, it's hearty enough for lunch or dinner too. To make a complete meal, serve the bread pudding with a small salad and some fresh fruit."
List of Ingredients
◦ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
◦ ½ pound portobello mushrooms, sliced
◦ 1 medium sweet onion, diced
◦ 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
◦ Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
◦ ¾ pound applewood-smoked bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
◦ 1 pound fontina cheese, shredded
◦ ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
◦ ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
◦ 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
◦ 6 large eggs
◦ 2 ½ cups half-and-half
◦ 1 pound ciabatta (day-old is best), cut into 1-inch cubes
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
In a large heavy skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and sauté until the liquid the mushrooms release has reduced and the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute; stir to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In the same skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp and browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl of onions and mushrooms; reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano, red pepper flakes, and rubbed sage and stir to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the half-and-half and the reserved bacon fat and whisk until combined. Spread half of the bread in the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the onion-mushroom mixture evenly over the bread. Top with the remaining bread and another layer of the remaining onion-mushroom mixture. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top. Using the back of a spoon, press the bread into the liquid, making sure all the liquid is absorbed. Let sit for 15 minutes before baking. (The bread pudding can be covered with plastic wrap, refrigerated, and baked the next day.)
Bake the bread pudding for 40 to 50 minutes, until evenly browned on top. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.