Thursday, August 26, 2010

Brain Dead Weekend: Breakfast Bread Pudding

I love entertaining, but I hate the morning after. It never fails: once the guests leave, we either stay up until the wee hours to clean the kitchen – or worse yet, we leave it until the morning and the kitchen looks like a Williams-Sonoma delivery truck exploded all over the countertops when we wake up. It’s just a no-win situation. (Of course, I’m glossing over the occasional wine-induced deteriorations that add to the troubles).

When I’m faced with these morning-aftermaths, this is one of the dishes I love to make. Partly because is let’s me use up the inevitable leftover bread; partly because it doesn’t take high-level brain function to accomplish; but mostly because it takes an hour to bake, so I can go back to bed. (OK, I actually end up cleaning the kitchen instead of sleeping – but it’s a nice thought).

This is nothing but simple comfort food, all the tastes of French toast without the standing around and babysitting it. It’s not going to win any awards for creative cooking, but when I’m faced with hand washing 637 pieces of crystal stemware, creativity is not high on my list (by the way, how do 8 people dirty that many dishes to start with?) I guess someone more organized than I am could even prep it the night before and stash it in the fridge (I don't see that happening at my house anytime soon though).

I so dearly love really good, crusty, rustic bread. But being on a budget, we usually reserve a trip to the ‘good bakery’ for company. I think that’s the reason I end up with so much bread left over – it’s some subconscious hoarder mentality because I know I won’t get the chance until we entertain the next time. And I think this is the only kind of bread to use when you’re making bread pudding or French toast. When I bite into it, I want it to bite back.

The other thing about this recipe is that it’s not overly-sweet. I’ve had some bread puddings that need to be topped with ice cream to cut the sweetness. Like I said, this one has a little sugary substance, but still plenty of room to douse it with maple syrup.

I have also eschewed the whole water bath approach for this recipe too (too much manual dexterity required for this type of morning). Besides, it would be just one more dish to deal with after already going through 3 bottles of Palmolive soap. Who needs it?

So next time you need to make breakfast without engaging your brain, try this one. It makes tackling that delivery truck’s worth of dirty dishes totally worth it.

Recipe: Breakfast Bread Pudding


  1. Great idea. I always get so stressed with all the last minute breakfast stuff. Seemed like everything has to be made at the same time - eggs, pancakes etc.

  2. This is great! I have been looking for a good bread pudding recipe!!

  3. bread pudding--classic comfort!
    messy kitchens are not :D

  4. I am so with you about liking to entertain but not liking to clean up the mess! Great bread pudding recipe, I like that it is not overly sweet!

  5. I hate a messy kitchen, but this sounds like it'd make it all worth it!

  6. I dont make bread pudding much having failed once, I didn't know we put cheese in it. Hmmm...nice!

  7. Hello there,
    Your posts always make me laugh and I can relate to most of what you talk about. :-)

    When I was married to my rocket scientist ex, in the best of times I was the "chef", "hostess", and "piano player"..or the entertainment. The ex was my "soux chef" and he always washed dishes without me ever asking.

    How I wish I could find a nice single guy today who likes a lady with what I have to offer: spunk, intelligence, curves and an affinity for the arts.

    If you ever want to put some of your recipes on my cooking blog-you would make me really HAPPY! HINT, HINT, HINT.

    Polly Motzko

    Keep on making wonderful stuff in your kitchen that I want to make in Southern CA.

  8. Genius!!! I always wondered what to do with the bread leftovers!!! We've been in your situation many times. For the next dinner party we host guess what I'll be baking the next morning.

  9. Oh how I love bread pudding! And you're right.. the aftermath of a dinner party is no good, but at least the party is always fun :)

  10. There's nothing like having to look at the remnants of a good party. It's always its own battle field. What a great way to get the umph and energy to do it. Just the aroma from the oven would be enticement to get the job done!

  11. This recipe sounds amazing. I love the way you talked about cleaning up after a party. We always leave it until the next morning and then am like... UGH! Now I have to CLEAN before I can cook breakfast! Next time I will start this recipe and clean while it bakes. The ingredients are simple and so is the recipe-- which is what I look for!

  12. What a perfect way to start the day - I love bread pudding, and never thought of making it for breakfast. As you say - it's all about the bread and I'm going to plan for leftovers this weekend.