These cheesy thyme bread puddings are made up of stale bread and leftover cheese. Did you know that bread is one of the most commonly discarded household items? I often make breadcrumbs and croutons and freeze them. However, occasionally there is a neglected baguette that is simply too hard to turn into breadcrumbs. But, if you soak the bread for long enough, you can resurrect it into something edible! Think of the deliciously comforting bread and butter pudding that the British make, with buttered bread, raisins, custard and spices.
I was inspired to make this savoury pudding with ricotta and cheddar cheese by Emiko Davies, food writer and photographer http://www.emikodavies.com. During the COVID lockdown in Italy with her family, she came up with so many delicious concoctions using stale bread. You can use natural yoghurt or cream if you don’t have ricotta. Substitute the cheddar with mozarella, parmesan, or blue cheese. I think the puddings would taste delicious with a few chopped black olives. Otherwise, you could add caramelised onion, sundried tomatoes or diced bacon.
I served the cheesy thyme bread puddings to the kids for afternoon tea. They’d make a great addition to a weekend brunch. If you’d like to cook the puddings with caramelised onion, here’s the link to my recipe for caramelised onions with coriander: https://atamandastable.com.au/caramelised-onions-with-coriander/
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Cheesy Thyme Bread Puddings
- 1/2 stale baguette
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used tasty, but any sort will do)
- 1 lemon, zest grated
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves, washed and removed from woody stems
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line 8 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tin with baking paper or muffin cases.
- Cut or break the bread into small chunks and put in a mixing bowl. Pour the milk over the top and leave the milk for about 10 minutes to soften the bread.
- Whisk together the egg, ricotta, thyme and a little salt and pepper.
- Stir in the grated cheese.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the milk-soaked bread.
- Spoon the bread mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until the puddings are set.
- Serve immediately while still warm, or at room temprature.
- Store in an airtight container. The muffins are best eaten within 24 hours. They are suitable to freeze.