27 November 2008

Bread Pudding with Four Cheeses and Herbes de Provence

A festive day calls for a festive breakfast.

And a little ingenuity. I had a half boule of Italian bread from LaBrea Bakery and a cheese drawer that was filled to the brim. Did I mention a raving hunger?

I knew it would be a long time until the big dinner. Our menu included pork tenderloin with a cranberry glaze, herb-y oven-baked potatoes and Brussels sprouts with shallots and roasted walnuts - not terribly time-consuming, but not simple either. (I took lots of pictures but in the mad rush had my camera on the wrong setting. I look forward to seeing what you ate!)

You already know what pleasure I get from using what is on hand. Here's what I came up with:

Four Cheese Bread Pudding with Herbes de Provence
  • 1 half boule of Italian or country-style bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups two-percent milk
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup gouda cheese, broken into chunks
  • 1/3 cup Asiago or Parmesan, grated
  • 2/3 cup swiss cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • pinch fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 375. Place bread chunks in large bowl. Beat eggs and milk in smaller bowl; pour into large bowl and set aside for five minutes. Once bread has absorbed the liquid, fold in cheese, onion, herbes and seasonings. Transfer to buttered casserole dish and place in oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top turns golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.

Four cheeses are essential for this dish. The cheddar is the base. The creamier cheeses balance the bite of sharp cheddar and the Asiago or Parmesan provides the accent. You can use any combination of cheeses for variety.

6 comments:

Judy said...

Oh this sound divine and we love bread pudding. Since I'll have extra time this weekend to relax and try something new this will be our Sunday breakfast. Hope your dinner was delicious. Sounds very yummy.

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

This would be a great supper dish, too, I think. A tossed salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, some red onions, and a semi-sweet white wine...

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I always have bits and pieces of cheese on hand. Now I'm going to scrounge in the freezer to see if there's a bit of good bread tucked away. Beautiful recipe.

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Thanks, Lydia! These days I am saving even the rind of my cheese. I think I may have learned that from you...

MaryRuth said...

ooooh! This does look good. I'll have to remember this one.

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

It was pretty good, but I made too much of it, MaryRuth.

Next time - more cheese and less bread!