Gail Simmons' Savory Mushroom Bacon Bread Pudding with Maple and Sage
- 1 pound brioche, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 12 cups)
- ¼ pound sliced bacon
- 1 pound fresh mixed mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, etc.), stemmed, cleaned and sliced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped, divided
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 3 cups milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the brioche on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly golden and dry.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Drain all but two teaspoons of fat from the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook on high heat until ¾ of the liquid cooks out. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sage and transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl. Coarsely chop the bacon and add to the mushroom mixture. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Add the mushroom mixture, brioche, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and toss evenly to coat. Let stand for 8 minutes to allow the brioche to absorb the egg mixture.
- Brush an 8-by-11-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Add the bread pudding and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup on top. Bake until set and golden, about 50 minutes. Let the bread pudding cool slightly and sprinkle with remaining sage before serving.
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