Bread soaked and baked in egg is surely something to pique one's interest. With visions of brioche and cinnamon dancing in your heads, here are seven places where you can satisfy your warm, carby, custardy desires.
Hooker's Sweet Treats - Sweet potato bread pudding with pecans and bourbon caramel sauce
Hailing from Louisiana ("Bayou country,"), David "Hooker" Williams has been around his mama and grandmama's bread pudding since he could reach the stove. He attributes how good it is to the high quality ingredients he uses, like Strauss cream and farm fresh eggs. "That, and a little gris-gris," he smirks. Pictured here is sweet potato salted caramel, with one of his special salted caramels baked right in the middle. He tops it with toasted pecans, and bathes it generously in a decadent bourbon caramel sauce.
Photo from Jean Y. of Yelp
Serpentine - Savory bread pudding with ham, gruyere, caramelized onions, nettles, corn, poblano, carrots, summer squash
If you haven't discovered the miracle that is savory bread pudding, do yourself a favor and start here. Chef Deepak Kaul serves his baked breaded custard with smoky house cured ham, sweet caramelized onions, nettles, summer squash, carrots, corn, and poblano peppers. What makes it extra rich is the nutty gruyere oozing off the top, like the cap on a French onion soup.
Photo from Jelena Z. of Yelp
Baker & Banker - Banana bread-, sticky bun-, and French toast-bread pudding
Quick, pick one: Banana bread bread pudding, sticky bun bread pudding, or French toast bread pudding. Can't make up your mind? You don't have to at Baker & Banker. They've decided three are better than one and serve each variety at their bakery (banana bread, sticky bun) or for brunch service (French toast). To tantalize your tastebuds even further, imagine the banana bread pudding served with a buttermilk caramel sauce, the sticky bun pudding dressed in espresso buttermilk caramel, and the French toast pudding drizzled in maple syrup, naturally.
Jane - Cinnamon brioche bread pudding
This snazzy Fillmore Street bakery turns out some fabulous pastries (like their oat cakes and cookies). Their bread pudding is also a crowd favorite. They start with dried, spongy brioche that thirstily soaks up custard. It sits weighted, in the fridge, for several days so the liquid becomes fully incorporated into the brioche. They pull back a lot of the sugar, for a mild sweetness that lets the cinnamon take center stage.
Photo by Eva Frye
Farm:Table - Warm savory bread pudding, peppers, roasted tomatoes, aged goat feta, soft cooked egg
Another winning savory bread pudding on the list comes from tiny Tendernob gem Farm:Table. Their pudding is served warm with a soft cooked egg, perfect for dipping. The set changes frequently, but get it now with market peppers, roasted roma tomatoes, and aged goat feta.
Woodhouse Fish Co. - Sourdough bread pudding
What makes Woodhouse Fish Co.'s version so excellent is the sourdough bread bread they use which gives a hint of tart dimension. It's just enough depth to balance out the sweetness and perk your tongue's interest.
Boxing Room - Brioche bread pudding, roasted strawberries, buttermilk ice cream
Those Southerners just know their bread pudding. At Boxing Room in Hayes Valley, order their brioche pudding topped with roasted strawberries and buttermilk ice cream that melts into a tangy pool begging to be sopped up with each bite.
Have any more bread pudding favorites we left off our list? Do tell us your picks in the comments.