butternut, gruyere and thyme sourdough brioche bread pudding

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 sourIt 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!


brioche loaf


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

2 eggs

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

1 shallot

200 g milk

40 g cream

2 eggs + 1 egg white

good pinch salt


grated nutmeg

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.

25 thoughts on “butternut, gruyere and thyme sourdough brioche bread pudding

    1. Thank you Lily! The bread pudding was definitely a step up from the bread (it was either pudding or slather it with nutella), but I’m still not a complete bread pudding-fan 🙂 Thanks for hosting FF this week!


    1. Thank you! Sourdough brioche does tend to be a bit time consuming (hence why I was waiting for it to rise into the early hours of the morning!) but I expect I just need to figure out a way to fit the rising schedule to my own schedule. Oh well, I’ll just have to give it another try 🙂


  1. Very nice save, the bread pudding looks delicious. I hate wasting food and sometimes don’t know what to do when something goes wrong with a recipe. This was a brilliant way to use the bread. I had not realy thought about the referigeration after full rise before. Learned from you not to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Suzanne! I agree, it feels terrible to waste food. I find it especially difficult to repurpose things that I cook which don’t turn well…even though it was strong and sour tasting, at least it was still bread so I had an easier time figuring out what to do with it 🙂
      About refrigeration after the full rise, I think it might also be because my sourdough starter isn’t always the happiest (well maybe! Sourdough starter “emotions” are complex, haha 🙂 ). A happier sourdough starter or instant yeast might be able to bounce back, but it proved too much for mine.


  2. And it’s a great way not to waste food! I think it’s awesome you posted this sort of recipe, as my mum always says – it’s not about your mistakes, it’s about how you bounce back afterwards that counts. This is a very inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mila! I did like having the squash, but because it’s so sweet, I think the bread pudding could have used a bit less. I’m thinking chunks of any vegetable would be nice! Maybe some zucchini for example, or eggplant… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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