I had quite the accident with this sourdough brioche loaf. It was nearly risen, but it was already the early hours of the morning and I really wanted to go to sleep. I was anticipating at least another hour and half to let the loaf finish rising and then baking it which was enough to make me give up. I decided to put the loaf in the fridge (absolutely no rising ever seems to happen when I put sourdough in the fridge). The next morning, the loaf far exceeded my expectations of not rising–it loaf had completely shrivelled, turning wrinkled and sunken. I don’t know if I’ve ever put something mostly risen in the fridge before (no actually maybe I have!) but I probably should have anticipated this. I left it on the counter for the day but it never regained its height and remained stunted.
Once I baked it, it was very sour. It tasted the way a very ripe, unfed sourdough starter smells.
It was not very good.
The bread pudding, made in an attempt to salvage the loaf, was okay. Considering that the starting material was not okay, the overall transformation was actually rather good.
It does seem a bit of a waste to make a loaf of bread and go right ahead to turn it into a pudding, but in this case, with such a sour tasting loaf, it was a very useful. I’m still not sure if I’m entirely convinced by bread pudding, but it was rather decent and tasted much better than the bread on its own. I used approximately half the loaf in the pudding–and it expanded into a large pudding capable of feeding quite a few people! I guess this is useful to know if you don’t have much bread.
The lesson is, well, maybe two things.
First, if you’re going to put some dough in the fridge, do it when it isn’t very well risen, not an almost risen dough.
Second, when something seems nearly inedible, consider transforming it into something else. Sometimes it doesn’t work and just leaves you with even more strange tasting food to eat, but other times it can help.
I’m bringing this bread pudding as a last minute contribution to Angie’s Fiesta Friday (there is also the remainder of the brioche loaf if you would like!). This week is being cohosted by Lily, the Little Sweet Baker and Julianna, the Foodie On Board!
50 g whole wheat flour
50 g all purpose flour
50 g sourdough starter
200 g all purpose flour
3 g salt
3 g wheat gluten
15 g sugar
20 g milk
125 g butter at room temperature
egg white to glaze
seeds for top
Mix together the sponge and leave on the counter overnight.
The next day, combine the flour, salt, sugar and wheat gluten in the bowl of the mixer. Add the eggs, milk, and sponge on top, and mix until a smooth and stretchy, and slightly sticky, dough is formed.
Beat in the butter one small piece at a time until a very soft dough is formed. Cover and let rise completely (6-8 hours).
Butter a loaf pan and line with a parchment sling. Scrape out the dough onto a floured surface, flatten, and fold. Let rest, then shape into a tight, elongate loaf. Place into the loaf pan, cover, and let rise again until doubled (4-6 hours).
At this point, if you’re me, you might unwisely put it, nearly fully risen, into the fridge. Take it out the next day and leave it on the counter for another 8 hours. Then bake. (Skip this step if you’re not me!!)
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the loaf with egg white and sprinkle with some seeds.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
butternut, gruyere and thyme bread pudding
I looked at this recipe to get an idea of the ratio of bread to milk/cream to eggs. I also have to admit, I don’t really know what the texture of a bread pudding should be (this is probably the second bread pudding I’ve ever tried?) and so I just baked it until I was sure everything was fairly well cooked. I think I might have cooked it too dry though.
4 thick slices brioche loaf
300 g butternut squash, roasted until just tender (1/4 of a largish squash)
generous handful thyme sprigs
200 g milk
40 g cream
2 eggs + 1 egg white
good pinch salt
20 g gruyere, grated
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the brioche and the squash into equally sized cubes.
Pick the thyme leaves from the stems. Mince the shallot. Grate the gruyere. Mix together all the ingredients except for the bread and squash.
Pour this mixture over the bread and squash, stir, gently to avoid breaking up the squash, and then pour into a buttered ovenproof casserole.
Bake for around an hour or until nicely browned on top.
Serve with a salad of chopped parsley and iceberg lettuce, seasoned with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.