Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

October 13, 2015


Author Notes: This delicious savory bread pudding is simply "fancified" stuffing, one of our family's favorite side dishes. It is easy to make and very adaptable; add crumbled bacon or ham, deglaze the pan with sherry, substitute Gruyère for the Cheddar cheese, add parsley or tarragon if you can't find marjoram. If you use a deeper casserole dish, the end result will be more tender and soufflé-like. But a shallower dish will yield more of the crusty golden top layer. However you interpret the dish, it will be delicious and impressive. Donna

Food52 Review: WHO: Donna is a longtime Food52 user based in Northern California.
WHAT: Thanksgiving stuffing, bread pudding-ified.
HOW: Make a creamy, cheesy custard, fold in bright herbs and earthy mushrooms, and soak bread cubes in it—then bake up and serve to your Thanksgiving guests (or the next morning, with an egg).
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you've only ever made sweet bread puddings, there's no better time to try a savory one. This creamy, rich alternative to classic Thanksgiving stuffing has great depth of flavor, and the vermouth really brightens it.
The Editors

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups heaped with 1/2-inch bread cubes (about 6 ounces), I used challah
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, or brown button mushrooms*, cut into pieces about the same size as the bread cubes
  • 1 splash white vermouth, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken or turkey stock, preferable homemade
  • 3/4 cup shredded, aged, white Cheddar cheese, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Place the cubed bread on a sheet pan and toast in a 350° F oven until somewhat dried, but not brown. Alternately, you can leave the bread out to dry overnight. It will lose some of its volume, but that's okay. Set aside.
  2. Set a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter to the pan. When the butter has melted add the chopped onion and a good pinch of salt. Cook until the onion begins to soften and brown a little at the edges. Add the minced garlic and stir until it is fragrant, then add the chopped mushrooms. Cook and stir until the mushrooms brown and give off some liquid. Add the vermouth and cook until the liquid reduces to a glaze. Stir in the marjoram and check the mixture for seasoning, adding more salt (if necessary) and some pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole or gratin dish. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs together with the cream and chicken stock. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Taste the custard mixture and adjust the seasoning to your liking with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold the dried bread cubes and the mushroom mixture into the custard, pressing the bread down into the liquid. Let stand while you preheat the oven.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. When the oven is heated, transfer the bread and vegetable mixture to the prepared baking dish. Press the bread down into the custard and smooth the top surface a little; sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the top is handsomely golden brown and the custard is set. The baking time will depend on the depth of the baking dish you have chosen. Serve hot and make sure every diner gets a portion of the crusty top. Leftovers can be refrigerated, tightly covered for 2 to 3 days.
  6. *If you have wild mushrooms available, you can substitute them for part of the total weight of the mushrooms.

More Great Recipes:
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Reviews (59) Questions (0)

59 Comments

Joan M. January 15, 2018
Just this past Xmas, I assigned the turkey stuffing to my daughter. She came across this recipe and made it. It was the BEST stuffing we ever tasted and it will be our go to recipe from now on.
 
Erin December 22, 2016
How required is the vermouth? I don't have any on hand and am not likely to use it elsewhere... Has anyone substituted white wine?
 
Michelle D. December 23, 2016
White wine is totally fine.
 
Erin December 23, 2016
Thanks! Looking forward to trying this for Christmas. :)
 
Alexis November 23, 2016
Can this be assembled/soaked overnight and then baked the next day, or will it compromise the integrity of the bread? thanks!
 
Author Comment
Donna November 26, 2016
Alexis,<br /> Yes, it can be refrigerated overnight. The texture will be more "souffle-like" as a result. But it's still delicious :)<br />-Donna
 
Michelle D. November 8, 2016
I made this last night with maitake (hen of the woods) mushroom I found in the woods and it was amazing! I also subbed leek for half of the onion. I'm sure it's great as written, but try with more flavorful wild mushrooms if you get a chance!
 
Author Comment
Donna November 9, 2016
Thanks Michelle,<br /> You're right, it's great with wild mushrooms, either fresh or dried. We have tried it and love it too.<br />-Donna
 
Wendy K. November 1, 2016
I'm wondering if you've ever tried this recipe with gluten-free bread? My mother-in-law has celiac disease, and I've been looking for a stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving.
 
Author Comment
Donna November 1, 2016
Wendy K,<br /> I have not attempted a gluten-free version of this recipe, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. You may get a slightly different texture, but the flavor should be just fine. Please let me know if you try it, okay? Thanks for your comment :)
 
Michelle D. November 7, 2016
I've had good luck making cornbread stuffing for GF friends.<br />
 
Min L. July 24, 2016
Smells like granny's Autumn fresh Entree forever!
 
Nellie February 15, 2016
Delicious! I assembled the night before and baked the following day. Yum
 
Author Comment
Donna February 16, 2016
Thank you Nellie for your kind comment. I am so pleased you enjoyed my recipe!
 
Karen L. December 20, 2015
I made this recipe recently and used sour dough bread. It was so good that my guests ate several helpings. I did make sure I had at least a large scoop for my own leftover stash. I served it with prime rib.
 
Author Comment
Donna December 21, 2015
I am so pleased you enjoyed the dish! It is simple and versatile, and I'll bet it was the perfect side dish for your prime rib. Thank you for your kind comments and have a happy holiday!
 
Author Comment
Donna December 15, 2015
Hi Mary Ann,<br /> I have sent you an email. Please try again, and thank you for your interest in my recipe. All the best!
 
Mary A. December 14, 2015
First time to this site. Found it too difficult to navigate to this Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding recipe, in order to print a copy. Recipe sounds yummy, but leaves me wondering! Picholine's comment about using less oregano??? What am I missing??? I DO NOT see oregano as a listed ingredient! Oh, and the print out was partially obscured, had to hand-copy several ingredients that were blocked. Hope you'll respond, preferably by email, Donna. Recipes great, but not worth effort required on my part. Let me know what I may have done wrong. Until I know, I don't think I will visit this web page again. FYI, I like to print/make hard copies of recipes I want to keep/try, this is why ease of getting it done easily is important to me.
 
Author Comment
Donna December 15, 2015
Hi Mary Ann,<br /> I have sent you an email; I hope you try again to copy the recipe. Thank you for your interest and all the best!
 
Deborah J. December 25, 2015
I have never tried these recipes, never can afford nothing good for the soul. Too many problems w/husband.
 
Araceli November 26, 2015
I made this today and it was a great success! I found this to be very simple and adaptable. Definitely going to be in rotation from now on! <br />
 
Author Comment
Donna November 30, 2015
I am so pleased that you enjoyed it Araceli :)
 
Hiromi M. November 26, 2015
This was very good! I brought it to Thanksgiving dinner at my friend's house. I baked for 30 min, but could have been shorter... I think I will use less bread and more veggies next time also. maybe some zucchini.
 
Author Comment
Donna November 30, 2015
Thank you for your thoughtful comment; it is a very adaptable recipe :)
 
Picholine November 25, 2015
I would use half the amount of oregano...I have made this recipe before.
 
Author Comment
Donna November 30, 2015
That's a good suggestion :)
 
Araceli November 25, 2015
I just got all the ingredients for this except marjoram. I couldn't find it anywhere! Would oregano work just as well, or do you have any other suggestions for alternative herbs?
 
Author Comment
Donna November 30, 2015
Hi Araceli, you could substitute any soft herb that you enjoy; parsley, tarragon, basil, and dill come to mind...
 
neighome November 22, 2015
I've just pre-made the separate components (mushroom onions/custard/shredded cheese) so that I just have to combine and bake on Thanksgiving day. Each component tastes great, so I have high hopes for the finished product. This is my first time using fresh marjoram; the taste is really terrific. I used a combination of fresh mushrooms and dried. This left the very flavorful soaking liquid left over. I used is as part of the broth for this recipe and saved the rest for the turkey gravy.
 
Author Comment
Donna November 24, 2015
Brilliant neighome! I hope you enjoy the dish as much as we do. Have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday :)
 
Jan November 19, 2015
can this be made and baked day before and then heated up on thanksgiving?
 
Author Comment
Donna November 19, 2015
Hi Jan, It reheats well, but the crispy top will lose some of its crunch. The best approach is to microwave until hot then run quickly under the broiler to re-crisp. All the best and have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday :)
 
Picholine November 16, 2015
i have made this and it is delish!
 
Author Comment
Donna November 19, 2015
Thank you Picholine for your kind comment :)
 
Glenn S. November 15, 2015
My friend Donna is my "go to" for everything as she is a knowledgeable food artist<br />and scientist
 
Author Comment
Donna November 19, 2015
Thank you Glenn, always happy to help solve any culinary conundrums ;)
 
navahfrost November 11, 2015
Congratulations! I can't wait to make this!
 
Author Comment
Donna November 11, 2015
Thank you Ivorygalny! I love your creative, seasonal version of babka; it's saved in my "to try" collection :)
 
creamtea November 11, 2015
Congratulations, what a beautiful recipe! I could so see this alone as a weeknight dinner or the basis of a weekend vegetarian brunch subbing vegetable or mushroom stock.
 
Author Comment
Donna November 11, 2015
Thank you creamtea; I like the brunch idea, may give it a try this weekend.