Savoury bread pudding
• 1 tbsp butter at room temperature for greasing baking dish • 1 tbsp butter for sautéing ingredients • 1/4 tsp cooking oil • 1 tsp garlic powder • 1 tsp sugar • 1 small onion, sliced • 2 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces • 1 small carrot, cut into thin strips • 7-8 fresh white button mushrooms, sliced • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I am using Dairyworks’ Smokey Joe, a mix of grated Parmesan, Colby & Cheddar) • 6 pieces of bread (I am using the $1 whole-wheat loaf) • 3 large eggs • 1 cup milk • 1/2 cup cream • Salt • Pepper
1) Grease baking dish with butter to prevent sticking. I used a 20cm baking dish and 5 mini tart tins for this recipe. You can adjust the recipe proportion to fit your baking dish.
2) Start by sautéing bacon bits in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. You don’t need more than a 1/4 teaspoon of oil as the bacon will release fat when cooked. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes before the bacon turns brown. Be careful not to burn them.
3) Remove browned bacon bits from pan and set aside, leaving the oil behind.
4) Using the same pan, sauté sliced onion over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrot strips and continue sautéing for another minute.
5) In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of butter, then add sliced mushrooms. Season with 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue sautéing for 2 minutes.
6) Cut each slice of bread into 9 small pieces (3 by 3). In a large mixing bowl, toss bread pieces, grated cheese, bacon bits, chopped coriander, and the sautéed mix together.
7) In another mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.
8) Using a tong or clean hands, fill baking dish with bread mixture in baking dish to the top. Ladle egg mixture over it till the baking dish is almost full. Do not fill baking dish to the brim as it will expand a little when baking.
9) Cover and let the baking dish sit for at least an hour before baking to allow the bread to soak up the liquid and for the flavours to infuse.
10) Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
11) Baking time differs according to the size of the baking dish. The 20cm baking dish takes 30 minutes, while the mini version takes just 15 minutes.