For our St Patty’s Day meals, I made 54 loaves of Irish Soda Bread (see previous post). I decided to cut off the ends of each loaf and only serve the center cuts. We kept the ends for snacking. Once we were all snacked out, one of my cooks asked “What are we going to do with all the ends now?” I paused and said, “Well, it has raisins, so we can’t make croutons and it has caraway, so we can’t make bread pudding. Or can we?” This would either be genius or a train wreck.
Not wanting to waste a minute, I ran to the fridge and grabbed a few things: yellow onion, milk, eggs, whole grain mustard & swiss cheese. The onions were chopped and sauteed. The milk and eggs were mixed in a near 1:1 ratio. The bread was cut into cubes and put into a buttered 2 inch hotel pan. Mix in the onions and grated swiss cheese. Mix the mustard into the egg/milk mix and pour over the bread. Cover and stick in the fridge. Recioes for bread pudding and strata have you let the custard soak in for 8-24 hours. Being impatient, mine soaked for about 4.
It was put into a 275 degree convection oven uncovered and cooked for close to an hour. While it was cooking there was some discussion about incorporating our house-infused Akavit into the custard, which might have been nice. Either that or finish it with an Akavit creme. We didn’t get that far. We just cut it and ate it out of the pan. Pretty good stuff. It could use a few tweaks and some extra seasoning. The raisins added just the right hint of sweetness. Sometimes, when an idea hits, you just need to go with it.