Looking for a festive dish to serve at your holiday brunch? One of our favorites is this savory bread pudding. Its playful balance of sweet, tart and salty flavors make it a fun main dish. The bread soaks up the sweetened custard giving it a creamy texture. The tart cranberries, rich sausage, and salty goat cheese provide distinct flavor bursts. A blend of light and dark bread cubes provides a pleasant contrast of texture and taste—we’re partial to a mixture of our Organic Whole Wheat and Sour White or Casera loaves. Serve the bread pudding warm with a salad, some fruit, and maybe a selection of pastries for a memorable, fulfilling brunch.Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp orange zest, freshly grated
1 Tbsp fresh sage, coarsely chopped
3 egg yolks
4 cups oven-dried white bread cubes (about ¾ loaf) cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups oven-dried dark bread cubes (about ¾ loaf) cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
6 oz pork sausage (about 4 links), fully cooked and cut into ¼-inch pieces
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
6 oz chèvre (goat cheese)Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Oil a 9-inch square baking pan.
To prepare the custard, combine the milk, half and half, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, sage, egg yolks and eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended and set aside.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and add the cranberries, cooked sausage and melted butter. Pour the custard mixture over the top and toss until evenly distributed, then let sit for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the custard. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan. Pour any excess custard mixture over the top, not quite filling the pan.
Crumble the chèvre over the bread cubes then wrap the baking pan tightly with aluminum foil. Poke 2 small vent holes in opposite corners of the foil. Place the pan in the center of a large roasting pan, at least 2 inches deep, and place the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven. Pour hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the baking pan. This water bath will help the bread pudding cook evenly. Bake for 1¼ hours, then carefully remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the top and set the custard. Lift the pudding from the water bath and cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack before serving.
Wrapped in plastic wrap, the bread pudding will last for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. (Wait for the pudding to cool completely before wrapping it.) To refresh the pudding, wrap it in foil and warm it in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.