4 cups (1/2 inch) fresh bread cubes (preferably brioche or challah; about 5 ounces)

1-1/2 pounds mixed fresh wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, cremini and oyster, trimmed and torn or cut into ¼ inch pieces

½ cup finely chopped shallot

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 cups half and half or whole milk

4 large eggs

½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

8 (6 ounce) ramekins


1.    Preheat oven to 350* with rack in the middle.

2.    Bake bread cubes in 1 layer on large rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

3.   Cook shallot in butter in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 15 minutes.  Add parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

4.    Whisk together half and half, eggs, cheese, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.  Stir in mushrooms and bread cubes until well coated and let stand for 10 minutes for bread to absorb egg mixture.

5.    Meanwhile, butter ramekins.  Put a round of parchment in the bottom of each and butter parchment.

6.    Spoon mixture into ramekins and bake on a baking sheet until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes.  Unmold puddings and discard parchment.

NOTE:  Mushroom bread pudding can be baked in a buttered 2 quart shallow baking dish (not lined with parchment; do not unmold.)1

Bread cubes can be baked one day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Pudding can be assembled (but not baked) 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered.  If you are serving with a roast beef, bake puddings while beef stands (if needed, meat can stand longer than the usual 20 to 25 minutes.)

from a Gourmet Holiday, 120 All-time Favorite Recipes, special edition, fall winter 2011

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