I have made many versions of bread puddings for dessert in the past. Bread pudding was the dish to make for breakfast when I had a house full of room mates ( nothing wrong in having dessert for breakfast ;). All I needed was stale bread, eggs, milk, sugar, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and chocolate chips or nuts to make the custard that is poured over the bread cubes. Let the mixture sit for at least half an hour so that the custard is absorbed by the bread cubes. Some recipes will require the pudding be baked in a water bath but this recipe doesn't require that step, the addition of cream and half and half adds richness and creaminess to this dish. I am not sure how this recipe would turn out if you were to use whole milk or soy milk.
This is my first attempt at making savoury bread pudding.....I will be definitely making this again. There are some recipes out there that call for different kinds of cheeses for the custard. I have used just half a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese as I did want to be weighed down by a heavy brunch (I will then have to spend rest of the day snoozing on the couch!) You could use any leftover bread, but I prefer to use challah . It is best to use stale bread or at least day old bread for this recipe.
Savoury Bread Pudding
4 cups bread cubes - day old
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves - finely minced
2 cups half and half
4 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a pinch of grated nutmeg
2 cups spinach, washed and loosely packed
3 Tb sweet butter
1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 9 baking pan and set aside.
Heat butter in a saute pan. Saute shallots, garlic, flat leaf parsley and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, add in washed spinach and stir together. Take off heat.
In a separate bowl mix together eggs, half and half, grated Parmesan cheese, cooled sauteed vegetables, a pinch of nutmeg. Pour over cubed bread in the prepared pan. Let mixture stand for at least 20 minutes before baking. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until custard is set. Serves 4 to 5 servings.