Friday, January 7, 2011

Pepperoni Bread Pudding

It's wait, it's bread pudding....well, what the heck is it??? It's exactly that....
Pizza Bread Pudding
How, you ask? Easy, take the flavors of pizza you love, incorporate them into a basic bread pudding recipe, and Voila!
Wondering how I came up with this? Well, it was a joint venture, really! After making soup and a double batch of focaccia bread last weekend, I was left with an overstock of focaccia. It was a bit on the dry side and didn't go over as well as it usually does, so I called one of my go-to people, Aunt Liisa, and asked her if she had any ideas for what to do with leftover focaccia bread. Of course she had ideas (I was stuck on crutons). "Oooh, a savory bread pudding" she said. Right...that stuff is gross. It's gushy and slimy and way too milky. "No, bakes up and dries out a bit." wheels were turnin'!
SO, I googled savory bread pudding, put together the basics, and added in what I thought would be a hit with the kids. I think I pleased all but one. Not a bad outcome, if you ask me!
Here's what you need:
4 cups of bread, cubed (mine was focaccia flavored with thyme, oregano, and garlic)
1 to 1 1/3 cups milk
2 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided in half
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. pepperoni, chopped into small pieces
salt, pepper, garlic salt
grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
sliced black olives
1 tbls each-dried basil and oregano
Place the bread cubes in a bowl, leaving room for the liquid
Saute the onions
Chop the pepperoni
Combine milk, eggs, 1/2-3/4 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. You end up with about 2 cups of the liquid mixture...I added a little more milk.
Pour liquid mixture into the bowl containing the bread and stir gently to coat. Add in the pepperoni and onions. Let this soak for about 10 minutes.
Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray, pour bread mixture in, and add sliced olives, tomatoes, and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes!

This truly tasted like pepperoni pizza, and I will definitely be making it again! Now, I did not give the flavor of the bread enough credit and I think overall, it was a bit on the salty side. So, next time I use less salt and garlic salt, but it still tasted great. The only suggestion I got was to serve it with some marinara sauce on top. Worth a try!

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