Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough Bread Pudding

Many, many moons ago, long before ever-ubiquitous preservatives were employed as means to keep food fresher longer, and when humans typically smelled as though they messed themselves on the regular, food had a relatively short shelf life.  Refrigeration wasn’t widely regarded as a useful tactic outside of the convenience of bitter cold winters, so dairy, meats and other treats went sour faster than you can convince a rational-minded person with a halfway decent comedic meter to watch an entire episode of NBC’s Whitney.

Given the state of those economically hard-hit and unhygienic times, food was not a commodity that was easily discarded.  Given this, the people had to come up with ways of serving food long after its point of ripeness.  Meat corrupted by time was covered in rich, heady sauces; softened, near-spoiled vegetables were thrown into soups and stocks; and breads…well, stale breads, it seems, were the belle of the tainted food ball.  Their uses included stuffings, sops, and, easily the best use for this crusty comestible, bread mothereffin’ pudding (or puddin’ for my backwater and/or five-year-old readers).

If you’ve yet to have bread pudding, let me give you an idea of what your sadly deprived mouth is in for: it’s akin to eating tequila-soaked, opera-singing fairies while bathing in a thick sea of happiness.  That is the perfect taste description. Bravo, me.

Just so we’re clear on the foundation of bread pudding, these unbathed dirties soak their stale bread in a large vat of cream, eggs and sugar and, after a short trip to the oven, it goes through a metamorphosis where the stale, old bread becomes one of the most delicious, comforting desserts known to human.  That’s not just innovative, that’s magic.

Pouring the custard

Riding on the tail end of Doughvember, my sourdough starter, Herman (his given name), and I got to work on making a rich, fluffy chocolate sourdough bread to finish this month out right. I allowed the sourdough to rise twice, the first for 10 hours overnight and then again for an additional 3 hours which gave it a very distinct sour taste to offset the sweetness of the chocolate I chopped into it.  Submerged in a rich tide of bittersweet Callebaut chocolate custard, baked until light, moist and springy and then topped with chopped hazelnuts, this 9 x 13 dish didn’t stand a chance in my presence.  I ate the entire batch in 3 days flat, and Connor the Cat looked on in sheer jealousy while I ate each piece in slow motion. I may have heard him call me an asshole to the other cat, Riley, but I can’t be sure.

Connor the Cat

Keep dreaming, cat.

In any case, he’s totally right, but I couldn’t possible care less. When you’re eating chocolate hazelnut sourdough bread pudding, nothing else matters. Not even a jealous cat with a shitty disposition.

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough Bread

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2 Comments

  • Jujuface
    November 28, 2011 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Yum omg yum yum yum.

    • Kerry
      November 30, 2011 - 2:13 am | Permalink

      I approve this message.

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