Friday, August 22, 2008

when bread goes stale, or dessert for breakfast

I like to eat breakfast. I eat breakfast regularly.* But I like things that are apparently "weird" for breakfast. I have been told on occasion that my breakfast habits are alarming and unnatural.

Oh, I eat my share of toast and eggs and other unremarkable breakfast food.** But I will also happily eat leftover curry or pasta or fried rice. Or dessert.

A lot of desserts make better breakfast than they do dessert, really. If you're going to eat lots of fat and sugar, it probably makes more sense to do it on an empty stomach than on top of a full meal. Bread-and-butter pudding is a good example: it's basically bread and butter and milk and eggs with some sort of sweetener, all of which are perfectly standard breakfast fare.

And if the Clear Flour Bakery is going to insist on selling half-loaves of pain de mie that are too big for one person to finish before they go stale... well, I have to do something to keep the stale bread from going to waste.

And if it's alarming and unnatural, that's fine with me.

Bread-and-Butter Pudding with Cherry Jam

This is traditionally made with raisins, but jam is what I had in the fridge, so jam is what I used.

(Serves one.)

Get out a small baking dish that will hold about two slices of bread. Grease it generously with butter.

Take two slices of stale white bread, butter them, and cut them into cubes. Arrange the cubes, butter-side up, in your baking dish. Dot the cubes with small dollops of cherry jam.

Beat one egg with a generous splash of milk or half-and-half in a bowl, until the mixture is smooth and very pale yellow in color. Pour this mixture into the baking dish from the sides - don't pour it over the top of the bread.

Sprinkle the dish with cinnamon, and allow to sit for fifteen to twenty minutes, so that the bread gets a chance to soak up the egg mixture. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350F.

Set the baking dish in a baking tray, and pour boiling water in so that it comes halfway up. Carefully move the tray to the oven. Bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the pudding is set and golden on top. Remove from oven. Serve warm.

*Okay, semi-regularly. During the semester, sleep is everything, and sometimes it wins out over breakfast.

**But not breakfast cereal. I'm not convinced that breakfast cereal isn't just a cardboard by-product with sugar added.


Cakelaw said...

Bread and butter pudding for brekky sounds good to me - hey, I drink Coke with breakfast and get all kinds of comments.

Kim said...

Adele, I have an alarming breakfast food thing as well. Love pizza in the morning better than the night before. This dish sounds good, and love how you made it for one person.

Yulinka said...

I used to eat soup for breakfast. I actually avoid traditional breakfast food--high carb stuff makes me crave even more carbs. Still, a favorite breakfast lately has been kefir with granola and raisins or nuts.

adele said...

Cakelaw - Coke with breakfast sounds pretty normal to me - then again, college wasn't that long ago. :)

Kim - I agree that cold pizza usually tastes better.

Yulinka - I love soup for breakfast, particularly during winter.

Virgin In The Volcano said...

Made your bread pudding with dollops of a blackberry sauce I had cooked up last week. Totally good. Thanks!

Julie said...

I prefer breakfasts of the fried rice and leftover pizza (and in fact, any leftovers from the night before) to traditional breakfasts too. But this sounds like a good dessert. Or breakfast!