Tartine Baking Project: #60 Brioche Bread Pudding
I have been so very excited to make this bread pudding! The first time I had it at Tartine I let out an audible gasp, which made the table next to us laugh. One woman put her hand on my shoulder, closed her eyes and nodded, then consoled me with an, “I know, I know.” It’s just that amazing that people understand and are willing to touch strangers because of the bond that this bread pudding creates between Tartine regulars. So making it in my kitchen was a tall order – big shoes to fill!
I made the brioche again, which is one of my favorite things to make – I even made a video the last time, in case you missed it. The smell fills up the house, and I love everyone coming into the kitchen and making one comment or another about what’s baking. Brioche is so incredibly versatile, so we’ll be enjoying every variation we can think up in the next week or so, seeing how we have a couple more loaves to go through.
Assembling the pudding meant first toasting slices of brioche in the oven, then making the custard, and finally pouring it over the sliced bread and letting it soak it up. Then, you add more custard. I wasn’t really sure how to organize the slices of bread in the baking dish. I thought they should be standing upright, but I don’t have a glass bread pan. Eh. This pie dish worked well enough, I’d say. Well enough for people to go back for seconds, and me to be enjoying some turned into French toast this morning. As I ran five miles yesterday, I thought (between entertaining the idea of hitchhiking home when no shade was to be found on part of my route) all about the excitement of digging into my bowl of bread pudding. I anticipated picking the fruit at the farmers’ market, grabbing whatever looked the most amazing. Turns out, the strawberries were calling for me. I bought so many strawberries and wanted to eat them all in the car.
The final step involves sauteeing fruit in a bit of butter, then adding caramel. I made caramel just for the occasion. The bread pudding had to be pretty close to how I remembered having it the first time at the bakery, so including caramel as the fruit is softening in the pan was essential. I’m always looking for an excuse to make caramel! And now I’ll be looking for excuses to be making bread pudding whenever I can. “Bake more to share more” has pretty much been my motto, but these days I’m adopting the phrase “Bake more to run more.”