Buttermilk & Brioche Bread Pudding

As a child Abbi Adams turned up her nose at the award-winning bread pudding her mother made every Christmas: Somehow the idea of soaking bread with milk was less than appealing. Once she finally tried it, she was hooked – and now it's her holiday standard and a regular dessert offering at Bluebeard with seasonal accoutrements. Having mislaid the recipe (and being a creative chef), Abbi modified the dish to make it her own. And does mom approve of her innovations? "No, she thinks it's dry," Abbi says with a laugh. But for most, the rich buttermilk sauce should be more than generous. For the lightest, sweetest pudding, Abbi uses buttery brioche buns, which soak up the sauce well.
Photography By Kelley Jordan Heneveld | December 15, 2012

Ingredients

Bread Pudding
  • 12 cups cubed day-old brioche
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Sauce
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the cubed brioche in a deep casserole dish that has been greased.

2. Pour the heavy whipping cream over the brioche; set aside.

3. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Pour the mixture over the brioche and it soak for 15 minutes. Then, push down the bread with a spatula or hands.

4. Cover with foil and bake about 40 minutes, until golden brown and puffy. Check the middle of the pudding; it should not be eggy.

5. Uncover and bake for an additional 8 minutes, then remove from oven.

6. Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the butter, buttermilk and sugar in a saucepan until the butter has melted and ingredients are incorporated.

7. With the butter mixture over low heat, add the baking soda and whisk until the mixture is foamy and doubled in volume. Pour the sauce over the warm bread pudding.

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Ingredients

Bread Pudding
  • 12 cups cubed day-old brioche
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Sauce
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
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