Tartine's Bread Pudding (w/Challah)

Don't be intimidated by the loooong recipe. This recipe is super duper easy and the results are rewarding. The recipe calls for Brioche but I used Challah--you just have to make sure the braided Challah fills the pan as much as a square loaf slice would, but don't squeeze any bread in otherwise the pudding will end up dry.

If you notice in the above recipe, the bread didn't soak up all the egg mixture so it baked on the bottom into a custard. Gross. No no no. Wrong. Maybe I needed to toast the bread a bit more to dry it out till the center to absorb the custard before baking. It was ok though. Just scooped and plated it without the custard dregs. Serve it with this caramel sauce. So good.

If you have leftovers, you can fry up the pieces with a little oil and it turns into a beautiful french toast.

6 brioche slices, cut 1-inch thick
8 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups whole milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9×5-inch glass loaf pan (or an 8x8-inch glass baking pan). Arrange the brioche slices on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until lightly toasted, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn yet dries out. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Really, let it cool.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and salt and whisk until completely blended. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve.

Place the toasted bread slices in the prepared loaf pan, cutting the slices to fit as needed. Pour the custard evenly over the bread, filling the dish to the top. You may not be able to add all of the custard at this point. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, so that the bread can absorb the custard. (Supposedly, it's going to soak up all of it.)

Just before baking, top off the dish with more of custard if the previous addition has been completely absorbed. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, place in the oven, and bake the pudding for about 1 hour. To test for doneness, uncover the dish, slip a knife into the center, and push the bread aside. If the custard is still very liquid, re-cover the dish and return the pudding to the oven for another 10 minutes. If only a little liquid remains, the pudding is ready to come out of the oven. The custard will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven and it will set up as it cools.

Let the pudding cool for about 10 minutes before serving. You can serve the bread pudding by slicing it and removing each slice with an offset spatula, or by scooping it out with a serving spoon.

While the bread pudding is cooling, peel and slice a couple of stone fruits (peaches, plums) or berries (blueberries, raspberries). In a medium pan, warm the fruit in the caramel. Top the bread pudding with the warm fruit-caramel mixture before serving.

Serves 8, from Tartine and this beautiful blog

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