February 27, 2013

Pin It Banana Bourbon Bread Pudding - Cook the Books

Taken From the Joy the Baker Cookbook
Now before I get to this bread pudding let me backtrack a little.
Chalkboard pig outside of Serious Pie/Biscuit.
I completely forgot to report on my trip to Seattle and my experience at Tom Douglass' Serious Biscuit!  I was super excited about trying this place out and I wasn't disappointed.  I went with my family so we were able to get a variety of biscuity goodness off the menu.

My nephew had the homemade ham, egg, and Beecher's cheese with apple mustard and my brother-in-law got the fried catfish with green olive tartar (not pictured).
Tom obviously got the most ridiculous/worst for you thing on the menu: The Zach. The Zach is a buttery biscuit topped with a fried egg, bacon, fried chicken, and smothered in Tabasco black pepper gravy. Do you feel your arteries clogging just ready this?
I got the fried green tomato with remoulade and a fried egg.
I thought it was really good and was happy with my choice. I tried a bit of Tom's and the fried chicken was awesome!  My sister Leah got the same thing as Tom, but hers was cold so she was a little disappointed. My mom made her own and got a biscuit, fried egg and a side of grits which was my favorite part; they were super creamy and delicious!  Our only complaint (besides Leah's cold food) was that the plates were too small.  So small in fact that it was difficult to eat without things sliding off onto the table. We were there on a Monday at 10 am and there was no wait (even though it was a holiday), which was great. They have big communal tables upstairs, which was perfect for our party of 10. Basically, I loved it and would definitely recommend trying it out if you find yourself in Seattle.  

Alright, now back to the bread pudding. This is the last recipe I'm going to make from Joy's book for the month. There are a lot of desserts in her book that you can't really make just for the sake of making them.  You almost need an excuse, like a party or dinner at a friend's to whip them up.  This qualifies as one of those recipes.  Not sure how Tom and I would have managed with an entire baking dish of bread pudding to ourselves. Luckily, Bonnie invited us over for dinner so I had the perfect excuse to try this out.  Unlucky for her, she was testing out a vegan diet for the month so she didn't get to partake in this while it was fresh (although she did stash some away in her freezer for when the diet trial is over).

The recipe was pretty easy to put together which is always nice, and it tasted good, but I think maybe I'm just not a huge fan of bread pudding? Not sure, the jury is still out.

I started out by tearing up some stale bread (or buying a fresh baguette and making it stale by toasting it in the oven) and mixing it with a couple mashed bananas (full recipe and directions are below).

I heated the milk, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolved and the milk was warm. 
I added that to the whisked eggs, vanilla and bourbon and poured it over the bread/bananas.
I baked it for 35 minutes and served it with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce...to be fancy.
It was good and I think everyone liked it, but it's not my favorite dessert.  Really how could it be? There's no chocolate :)
Ingredients
1 stale baguette
2 mashed bananas
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon sugar
2 sliced bananas for topping

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter an 8 inch square baking dish.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine milk, sugar and salt. Stir until sugar dissolves and milk is warm. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Tear stale baguette into chunks. Place in prepared baking dish. Add mashed bananas and incorporate with the bread, using your hands. 
In a medium bowl whisk eggs. While whisking, drizzle in warm milk mixture until all the milk is added and mixture is well incorporated. Stir in bourbon and vanilla.
Pour milk/egg mixture over the torn bread and press bread into liquid so it is moistened.
Allow mixture to rest for 10 minutes.
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until bread is browned and liquid is no longer jiggley. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes before serving.  Top with cinnamon sugar and fresh banana slices. 

Joy has some great recipes but I have to say, her book is not my favorite. I had a hard time finding things I actually wanted to make.  I love her blog and make her recipes all the time but I didn't really feel like the book was the best representation of her best.  Maybe I'll like her next cookbook better.

For now, I'm ready to move on and am so excited to get started on my March cookbook: Jerusalem!

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