I made my first bread pudding, and my first brioche in the process. Lauren of Upper East Side Chronicle (soon to be A Baking Blog as she moves to the Upper West Side) chose Dorie's Chocolate Bread Pudding for our Tuesdays With Dorie recipe. Usually, I pretty much wait until the last minute to do everything. It's not something I'm proud of, but it is something I accept as part of my personality. Occasionally I try to overcome it and plan ahead a little. I am glad that I was in that mode this week with this recipe, because although there are short cuts, you want to start with a good bread, and let it get stale, before you make your bread pudding.
So luckily I started several days in advance by making the brioche dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. I realize Dorie has a brioche recipe, but I was intimidated by her story of making brioche with a wooden spoon when she "huffed and puffed harder than when I had run a half marathon". She suggests not using a hand mixer because "in all likelihood, the mixing will wear out the motor". I don't have a stand mixer, and I knew the spoon mixing would wear out my motor. Someday I will try Dorie's brioche, but because I am a wimp and because I have been loving my Artisan Bread in Five book and want to make every recipe in there, I made a batch of brioche that makes four, one pound loaves. I baked a loaf, sliced it, and set it out to stale.
Isn't that gorgeous? I did also toast it in the oven for ten minutes to make sure it was dry enough on baking day. This recipe was very easy. I had some half and half I needed to use, so I used it in the custard.
The custard gets poured over the cubed bread.
Someone in the TWD problems and questions described this looking like a dish of mud...or something worse. I wasn't sure if I should take it to a party I was going to. It didn't seem like a party type food, and it wasn't super attractive.
Since I am a procrastinator and had nothing else to take, I took it to the party. Some of the guests became too intoxicated to have dessert. But one guest, S, whom according to the hostess, and I quote, "most likely has an attractive penis" (she was not drunk when she said this), ate about half of the dish. A couple others who tried it also liked it; even my husband, who does not like bread pudding. I have been eating the leftovers chilled for breakfast. I will definitely make this again.
And with some of the leftover brioche dough, I tried my first braided bread:
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