Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

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Every so often, I force myself to wade through the huge pile of recipes I have collected, recipes I mean to try. Usually they are from the half dozen food and cooking magazines I receive every month. Today’s sorting turned up one for a savory mushroom bread pudding that I had earmarked for cold weather. Unfortunately, I tore it from an unknown, untitled publication so I can’t properly credit its author.

Buy the freshest mushrooms you can find. If you decided to use Portobellos, as I did, remove the black gills under their caps, as they can add a bitter taste and unappealing color to many dishes. My mushroom man at the local Farmers Market was on an extended Thanksgiving break, so I went to Whole Foods and picked out Portobellos for their meaty taste, and a handful of Criminis.

TIP: Place the baking dish on a sheet pan to prevent oven spillage.

Serves 4 as an entrée and 6 as a side dish

  • 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup madiera wine
  • 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground black or white pepper, divided use
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 6 slices whole grain country-style bread
  • 3/4 cup Gruyére cheese, coarsely grated
  • 3/4 cup sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 1-2 teaspoons white truffle oil, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until limp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute. Now add the madiera and cook until most of it has been absorbed by the onion mixture. This will take another 5 minutes.

3. Add the sliced mushrooms and the olive oil. Season with salt and/or pepper to taste and cook until the mushrooms release and then absorb much of their liquid. This will take about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the parsley.

4. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs and add the milk. Stir well, season with additional salt and/or pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and set aside.

5. Butter a 9-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.

6. Spread half the bread slices over the bottom of the dish. Cut the pieces so as to completely and evenly cover the surface. Next, add the mushroom-onion mixture. Cover with half of the combined grated cheese. Layer the rest of the bread slices on top.

7. Pour the egg custard over the pudding, pushing the bread down with your hands so that it absorbs the custard. Top with remaining  grated cheese. Drizzle with truffle oil, if desired.

8. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes until pudding is puffed and browned. Allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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26 Responses to Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

  1. Bevi December 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    This sounds like a wonderful side dish with a roast! So comforting and sounds delicious!

    • lizthechef December 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      Thanks, we shared a piece standing up after I took the shot –

  2. Carol Sacks December 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    All of those flavors are great together. The dish looks delicious, too. I have to try this recipe very soon. Hope you’re feeling better!

  3. Mary Constant December 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    I just made mushroom souffle’s for a lunch tomorrow…we must be on the same wave length today! Nice photo…have you acquired another camera yet?

    • lizthechef December 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

      Welcome home, Mary – nope, same point and shoot camera. Your soufflé sounds good.

  4. The Wimpy Vegetarian December 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    What a perfect dish for a blustery day like we’re having in SF today! I wish I had some right here, right now! I have a pile of recipes to go through that I want to try, and the pile seems to grow overnight, so I totally understand! Love the photos too, Liz. Really beautiful!

    • lizthechef December 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      This recipe is perfect for my favorite wimpy vegetarian 😉 Thanks for liking it too.

  5. Sunchowder -Wendy Read December 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Nice job once again Liz! This looks perfect as a side dish, I really enjoy both sweet and savory bread puddings, I will look forward to trying this one too 😉

    • lizthechef December 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Wendy, it turned out to be richer than I had imagined – must be the mushrooms…

  6. belle (tinkeringinthekitchen) December 3, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    What a delicious idea 🙂 Ive just bookmarked to try out tomorrow. Thanks! Belle

    • lizthechef December 3, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      I hope you try it – the truffle oil really adds a nice touch if you have some on hand. I use it on pizza too.

  7. Kristi Rimkus December 4, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    Mushrooms are a favorite ingredients in my house. I’ve bookmarked this recipe to try.

    • lizthechef December 4, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Thanks – let me know how it works for you if you try it?

  8. TasteFood December 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    This sounds so warm and comforting. I’ll wait for the rain to try it. Nice photos – I like your distressed wood 🙂

    • lizthechef December 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

      Larry actually pulled that piece of wood out of a dumpster for me.

  9. Hannah December 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    What a scrumptious sounding recipe and your photos are lovely! I’ll definitely be making this for my family.

    I know what you mean about the piles of recipes…my “to try” folder gets thicker and thicker despite sorting and pulling ones out to make. All good, though!

    • lizthechef December 5, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      Thanks, Hannah, enjoy the recipe.

  10. sippitysup (@sippitysup) December 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    I agree this is a warm entree as much as a side dish… GREG

    • lizthechef December 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

      I was pleased that Larry ate it and thought the mushrooms “meat-y” enough for an entrée.

  11. jaynerly December 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    I love mushrooms! Alas husband does not! This is a recipe I will store for one of those days when Im cooking just for me!

    • lizthechef December 6, 2011 at 8:17 am #

      Lots of folks don’t dig mushrooms – and this makes a lot of casserole…

  12. Oui, Chef December 8, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    I adore mushrooms of all shapes and sizes and love the idea of a savory bread pudding. I’ve never made one before (though I guess turkey day dressing comes close), but welcome the idea as an alternative to rice or potatoes as a side dish.

    • lizthechef December 8, 2011 at 7:38 am #

      Thanks, Steve – it would be fun to play with all sorts of mushrooms mixtures here.

  13. s December 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    this is such a luscious recipe, Liz. i love it. i shall keep it for my arsenal for when i have a brunch at home. happy hols to you and yours. x s

    • lizthechef December 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      Thank you – and best holiday wishes to you as well –

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