Brown Butter Bread Pudding

author: ro

created: 2004-12-02 04:27:07



This is by far the best bread pudding I've ever had. It's a bit more custardy than a typical bread pudding and the brown butter adds richness, complexity and a soul satisfying crunch to the top. This recipe was developed by Maureen Kilpatrick, the pastry chef at Oleana Restaurant in Cambridge, Mass. It's a winter menu standard and people get VERY upset if we take it off. It's a little more work than most bread puddings but well worth the effort. The milk jam is pure heaven.


Custard 8 cups bread, cubed, without crusts and cut into ½ inch pieces Day-old baguettes work the best 1-1/2 sticks butter; browned, strained & cooled to room temperature (3 ounces for custard and 3 ounces for drizzling on top) 6 eggs 1-1/2 cups sugar 3 cups heavy cream 2 cups milk Cinnamon syrup 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 2 - cinnamon sticks Milkjam* (Optional) 3 cups milk 1 cup crème fraiche 1 cup sugar 1 - vanilla bean, split 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon water * also called dulce de leche Preparation 1. Make brown butter: Simmer butter until it turns brown (just before it turns black) and has an aroma of hazelnuts. Strain and let sit at room temp until it’s cool and congealed about 2 hours. The brown butter should be soft and not liquid when it’s added to the custard. 2 Make cinnamon syrup: Bring all ingredients to a boil until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. 3. Make custard: In a mixer with the paddle attachment, mix eggs. Slowly add sugar and beat until thick and pale, about 10 minutes. Add 3 ounces of brown butter in spoonfuls to break up. Add cream and milk. 4. Make Pudding: Toss bread cubes with 2 cups cinnamon syrup and 2 ½ -3 cups of the custard. Let it sit to absorb syrup/custard mixture for about 15 minutes. Pour into buttered 8 inch square or round pan. Fill with custard until custard is equal to the rim of the pan. There may be a small amount of custard un-used. Melt remaining 3oz of brown butter and drizzle over the pudding. Place the pudding pan into a larger pan. Add water to larger pan so that it comes up to 3/4 of the pudding pan. Cover the whole thing with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes to brown the top. Remove from the oven and cool to set custard. You don't have to make the Milk Jam it's good without it but even better with it. 5. Make milk jam: Boil to dissolve the sugar. Dissolve ½ teaspoon baking soda in 1 tablespoon water and stir into milk after sugar has dissolved. Milk will bubble up quickly, then back down. Cook mixture over medium heat, keeping it at a brisk simmer and whisking occasionally until it turns light golden caramel, approx 1 ½ hours. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and strain. Jam will harden as it chills. It is easy to overcook so a lighter jam is preferable and easier to work with. Careful not to let it get too dark. Serve pudding with milk jam drizzled on top.