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Posts Tagged ‘challah’

Rich drunk man's French toast?

Rich, drunk man's French toast

Bread pudding is such a wholesome name; the pudding industry would do well to spread some cash around Madison Avenue and get this Plain Jane dessert a snappier handle. How about Rich Man’s French Toast? Tell me that doesn’t have moxie. Well folks, the fat-cats at Big Pudding may not be opening up their wallets anytime soon to support my rebranding efforts, but at least good people of New Orleans have already done their part by livening up the homely pudding building blocks of egg, milk, sugar and soggy bread with a much needed shot of whiskey. In Italian coffee drinking circles such an addition is known as a “correction,” a sentiment I could not agree with more.

Now since this is a Cajun recipe, let us take a moment up front to get the obligatory catchphrases out of the way: Laissez le bon temps roulez! Mon cher! Bam!

Are we done? Good. The canonical ‘Nawlins bread pudding with whiskey sauce comes from the city’s Bon Ton Cafe. Go looking for other recipes and you’ll find that while proportions differ the basic ingredients are always the same, and every last one of ‘em, from the Silver Palate Cookbook to gumbopages.com, credits the Bon Ton. Today the Junta’s chief contribution to this legacy is to suggest that you make it with challah. There are plenty of good reasons to use challah instead of French bread: it’s rich, it’s sweet, and it’s soft enough to be easily turned to a puddingy mush. But to be honest using challah is an idea this juntero came not by any conscious choice of his own but rather because, as Ben Franklin once said, “sake-bombing is the mother of invention.” (more…)

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Last Thursday, while I was fasting for Yom Kippur, I had the genius idea that I would distract myself from my hunger by spending the day baking a challah. Hm. Obviously, there were some faults in my thought process, but the idea was that it’s a fairly focused task, and one without temptation, since raw bread dough is really not that appetizing.

Little did I know that this particular bread dough, infused with a teaspoon of cinnamon, would be utterly tempting, releasing the scent of its sweet goodness long before I put it in the oven. So the distraction from hunger aspect was a failure.

The focused aspect, however, was a great success. Baking bread is actually a pretty easy task, and not even particularly time-consuming in terms of active time. You do, however, need a whole afternoon for it, because the bread will have to rise repeatedly and be left alone for an hour here, 20 minutes there, a half hour here. This, though, could not have been more satisfying, and was also pretty fun. (more…)

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