I have always been interested in baking. I assumed this was because I love sugar and baking something is a fun multi-step way to create something AND consume sugar. However, in 2013-2014 I was able to work at a cafe in Indianapolis. When I did, I quickly learned I enjoyed the science of baking. I loved noting how the pastry chef would change small things to make new flavors. It was at this cafe where I learned how to make brownies from scratch, ganache (I would only attempt it with the owner nearby), and cookie doughs.
One recipe that was GENIUS was the bread pudding french toast. We always had pastries readily available each morning, and when they were gone we generally did not make more (we had lunch crowds to prepare for). On the off-change that a pastry was left behind, it was frozen. Then, once there were enough frozen pastry friends, we made a bread pudding from them. This was then frozen in slices to be used as a french toast. It. Was. Epic.
So, starting this journey, I knew I would have extra pastries from my experiments and trial runs. I ended up with a gallon ziplock bag full of frozen banana bread, pumpkin bread, milk bread, and more randos.
I toasted the diced frozen bits for 10 mins at 250 degrees. Then I put the cooled cubes in a square pan and covered it with a traditional bread pudding custard:
After soaking overnight, I baked the deliciousness, cooled it, and cut it into four pieces. Two would be consumed the following day (see that delightful image at the top of this entry, sprinkled with lil blueberries). The other two pieces were seran wrapped, then wrapped in foil. We will enjoy those in November because October is out bday month and imma bake like it’s my birthday!
It was an absolutely delicious experiment, since I ate the bread pudding french toast at the cafe, but never made it. Working at the cafe planted the “going to pastry school would be wicked cool” seed that has been slowly growing. I am excited to start classes in 2021!