P&Q: Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

All things chocolately, bready and puddingy.. go to it.

68 thoughts on “P&Q: Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

  1. I made this for Easter dessert. Didn’t get a chance to try any because it was too warm to cut when I was leaving for school, but I do know if you cut the recipe in half, it fits in an 8×8 pan.

  2. Sounds yummy, but I think I am going to pass this week. Bread pudding’s a bit too heavy for the warming weather here.

    Hey May folks, can we PLEASE get some Spring-ish (maybe fruity) desserts??? Pretty please…with sugar on top?? ;-)

  3. I made this a couple of weeks ago but used a homemade wheat bread. It didn’t work out too well, too dense. I am going to try again, this time using the right kind of bread.

    Lesson learned, don’t substitute too much! :)

  4. Does anyone know who far in advance you can make this? ie: the day before? Is serving it the day after going to result in a soggy mess? Thanks – this looks like a great recipe!

  5. mike – I think there’s information on storage in the book. I made and baked mine on Monday, finished eating it on Tuesday, and thought it was still good. Dorie actually says it’s better cold.

    I used a homemade sandwich bread and thought it was very good. There was more custard mixture than I was expecting, and it definitely didn’t all get soaked up by the bread. Not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to be or not.

    I wouldn’t mind if the chocolate flavor was stronger. I used 60% cacao chocolate, so I’ll just use something darker next time.

  6. Ive never cared for bread pudding. Now, its very likely that I have never had ‘good’ bread pudding. However, to make my odds better, I am going to make this with stale doughnuts. Unsure if Im going to use yeasted or cake. But thats the route Im taking.

  7. Bread pudding is a staple in my house. We usually have leftover challah from Friday night. So it’s either bread pudding or French toast. This is much richer than my recipe. We’ll see how it goes.

  8. Thanks Bridget – I’ll check the book! I’ll try doing it later at night, then serving the next day – and see how that goes.

  9. I’m planning to use some leftover homemade kugelhopf from a few weeks ago (it’s in my freezer). It was a touch dry when I made it, so I’m thinking that it will fill the bill for “stale”. We generally love bread pudding but I made a disastrous one in the fall that was so bad I dumped it in the trash. I hope this is better! I’ll plan to use good strong dark chocolate – thanks for the head’s up, Bridget.

  10. I am so glad I checked in ahead of time (after my amaretti search problems)–I’ll buy some challah in the next day or two to use for this.

    I can’t wait. I love a good bread pudding.


  11. I’m make this for the second time (first attempt, wheat bread, bad idea) today. The flavor was awesome the first time, but for some reason it looked like meatloaf LOL So this time I made sure I found a nice fresh loaf of uncut white at the bakery. No challah or brioche. Wish I had checked Dorie’s book first though, there’s a brioche recipe in there! :) p 48-50

  12. I think I will have to pass on this one. It’s not really portable on the NYC subway, and I can’t leave it in my house as I will consume it all myself. But I will enjoy browsing through all the lovely blogs on the Pudding.

  13. I used 70% bittersweet and a crusty white loaf and it was amazing! It rates in the top five of TWD recipes I’ve made since joining the group. The little chocolate solids at the bottom of the bowl gave it nice tiny pockets of chocolate, so next time I’ll also mix in a little very finely chopped chocolate with the dried cherries.

  14. This may be a question that can’t accurately be answered but here goes. How stale for stale bread? I have never made bread pudding before and I don’t want it to be a soggy mess or too dense.

  15. Kelly- Every time I have made bread pudding I have actually toasted the bread cubes because you want it to be completely dried out so it can soak up the custard completely. So even if your bread is stale, I would still toast it in the oven, like Dorie suggests. That is what I am going to do.

  16. I am going to try to make this with Dorie’s brioche, mainly so I’ll have some dough left over to try her famous pecan sticky rolls. I better get cracking, though, because I’ll need to make the brioche, wait for the brioche to get stale, and then make the bread pudding. I guess this isn’t one to leave until Monday night!

  17. Well I just finished taking pictures and it’s delicious! So chocolatey and beautiful! MUCH better than my first attempt and everything seemed the same so it had to be the fact that I used wheat bread last time. I made vanilla custard to go with it, Heaven! Also tried a piece with some chocolate syrup.

  18. I made Dorie’s brioche, a quarter of a recipe, which made an 8 oz. loaf when fresh but ended up as six oz. after drying for several days (it was completely dry). I made a half recipe of the chocolate custard, but after I poured the custard over the bread, I ended up taking out 2/3 cup of the custard because the bread was positively swimming and soupy.

    I’ve never made real bread pudding before so I wasn’t quite sure how wet the bread was supposed to be, but my intuition told me I had too much custard. I mean, the bread was floating in it, even after soaking.

    I baked for probably close to 50 minutes until the knife came out clean. My bread seemed more saturated with chocolate compared to the picture in the book (mine had very little “white” compared to brown).

    I’m curious what everyone else’s experience was, in terms of how wet the unbaked pudding was. Was yours ssoupy?

  19. Donuts? Oh be still my heart… I’m going with a squishy sandwich roll from the grocery store and making a scaled down version in a muffin pan. I think. We’ll see what actually happens.

  20. Jacque, mine was a little soupy after 15 minutes of soaking, so I pushed more cubes of bread down into the custard. I wanted it all soaked up. IMO, you don’t want a lot of excess custard because it bakes up as a solid, which isn’t what you’re going for here. My bread was totally soaked with custard (no white like the picture in the book) but it was delicious.

  21. I think I had bread pudding once as a kid, but don’t really remember it other than not liking it. And DH likes it ok, but might not be able to eat much of it. I’m debating if I should make it or skip it. What does it taste like, what is the texture?

  22. Loved this–but then again, I’m a bread pudding lover. I used stale croissants which tasted delish, but I thought there was too much liquid–I’d either add more croissants next time (I used the weight recommendation in the book) or reduce the liquid by 1/4-1/3. I like my bread pudding to have soaked up all the liquid, and that was totally impossible with the amount called for in this recipe. However, I didn’t think the final product was too custardy-tasting.

    I thought it was okay cold, but I liked it best reheated–just seems to be a “warm and homey” dessert to me. And yes, it looks terrible–no real way to make a chocolate bread pudding look like something other than mud…or something worse…

  23. Kristen, this looks like a fairly easy recipe to cut in third or quarter. I’m planning to make 1/4 recipe and bake it in 2 ramekins or a very small casserole dish- 2 or 3 cup capacity – in a shallow water bath. After reading these comments, I might use more of the bread cubes.

  24. My bread to pudding ratio was exactly as Jacque describes. I didn’t take any custard out, and it definitely baked up a little weird, but it was still good.

    I only made a quarter of the recipe. I made it in 2 4-inch diameter pyrex pans. I think you could even do it in little ramekins.

  25. Elizabeth – LOL! You made me laugh with the mud comment, but it’s true.

    I had no problems with the bread to custard ratio. I think the fact that you used croissants, and they are of a different texture than bread that could have been the culprit.

    I completely agree this was good cold, but I have always eaten bread pudding warm with additional custard on top, so I heated mine and added Cream Anglais. :)

  26. Tanya-I almost always use lower fat milk in anything that calls for milk in baking….I seriously think it would be fine in the bread pudding, so long as the chocolate shines in the recipe.

  27. I just made 1/6th of this recipe and after reading these comments, I only used 3 cups of milk (1/2 cup for 1/6th of the recipe) and omitted the cream. We don’t have heavy cream at the house anyway. At first, I was concerned about the liquid but the bread seems to have soaked it up. Btw.. I used supermarket white bread because we don’t have nice stuff so I’m not sure how that affects soaking quality. 2 oz of bread came to 2 slices of bread. Supermarket stuff usually feels like you’re biting into air so I was surprised it actually soaked up the milk.

  28. I’m making a batch of brioche dough (a recipe from artisan bread in 5 min a day) to use for the bread. I want to make 4 individual servings in 4 ramekins that I think are around 6 ounces each, should I halve the recipe?

  29. Jennifer, maybe you could cut up as much bread as you need to fill the ramekins and then figure out from there if you should halve, third or quarter it.

  30. Ooops, I miss read your post Jennifer. I thought you were talking about the bread pudding recipe not the bread one..haha.

    Is this supposed to be wet..like is that why it’s called bread pudding? I baked mine for a really really long time and even though the toothpick came out clean, the dessert was still really wet.

  31. I just took mine out of the oven. Oh my! Is anyone close enough for an intervention? Otherwise, I might eat it all before my family comes home.

    I’ve never made bread pudding before and the couple of times I’ve had it in restaurants it tasted nothing like this.

    BTW, I used 1% milk.

  32. Etiquette question–I’ve made this before, and while I liked it, I prefer my bread pudding sans chocolate. Could I skip the chocolate and substitute marzipan or something and still be in the spirit, especially as I’ve tried it first to see if I liked it, like a good kid at the dinner party?

  33. Rosasharne, I was going to bake my bread pudding in individual serving ramekins and make half with a berry sauce stirred in, because my husband cannot eat chocolate. But, now he’s out of town for 10 days, so I’m just doing the chocolate. But I think it would be good with the berry, or your marzipan suggestion sounds yummy too.

  34. ok, mine is soaking right now, I used an oval bakeware dish(probably smaller than 9×13). I used 8 oz of 60% dark chocolate, and…I used 2 C milk + 1 C hazelnut flavored creamer and the heavy cream. Plus I added in sliced almonds and omitted the raisins. Mmmm.

  35. I made mine last night. I made a third of a recipe, which fit nicely into four ramekins. I added a little brandy to the custard mixture, since I didn’t add any dried fruit and I felt like it needed something besides chocolate and cream. I thought it was a great bread pudding.

  36. OK, Actually I put it in an 8 X 11. The bread looks pretty soaked, with 1 1/2 cups of the custard left. I have read about some being too liquidy, so I don’t know if I should add all the liquid. I will see how much it soaks up I guess.

  37. I made a half recipe this afternoon. This is fabulous! I used 6oz of Dorie’s brioche (half of the bread amount stated in the recipe) and the liquid/bread ratio seemed right to me. I know Dorie says it is best cold, but I’ve gotta say, it is pretty darn incredible warm. I haven’t chilled it yet, so I’ll be interested to compare. The only thing I wish I did differently was use chocolate chips instead of raisins. I like the raisins a lot, but the bite of a chocolate chip every now and then might be nice in this otherwise soft textured dessert.

  38. I’m going to make this tomorrow, and I have one question: Is there a reason why we boil the water so early? Because we then have to wait 30 minutes for the bread to soak… and I’d think the water would get cold. I don’t mean this to sound snarky, just wondering if I missed something!

  39. @LW Doughnuts nom nom nom! That is why you are a girl after my own heart! I was going to do the same thing (yeasted/glazed) but decided to try making challah instead.

    The loaf I made is great. My pudding is still soaking right now. I halved the recipe and am thinking about adding some extra bread cubes.

  40. @Nancy I am guessing that if you boil your water in the tea kettle like Dorie says then it will keep it plenty warm by not letting much of the heat escape. I don’t have a tea kettle so I just boiled my water closer to the time when it is to go in the oven. I guess we’ll see how that turns out.

  41. Thanks, Bridget, for mentioning that it could use more chocolate intensity. I think I’ll add some cocoa powder to the custard, just to bump up the chocolate flavor a bit more. Did anyone cut back on the eggs? It sure feels like a lot.

  42. I made a half recipe yesterday and lightened it up by using evaporated ff milk (instead of cream), egg substitute, (still used yolks though) and low fat milk. I put it in a muffin tin and got 12 little ones- and it came out soooo good!

  43. Cathy – I added a sprinkling of cinnamon chips and dark chocolate chips but they ended up at the bottom and you couldn’t even tell they were in there :-P

  44. nancy – I think the reason is that it’s supposed to be pretty darn hot, but not boiling, when you add it. A tea kettle would keep it hot. I just boiled mine in a saucepan and then covered it until needed :)

  45. I’m with Rosasharne on this one about the chocolate. I love chocolate and I love bread pudding, but after making this one, I realized unlike Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, these are NOT two great tastes that taste great together for me.

    I actually really like the texture of this (made with challah) and I like the basic flavor of the custard part. I just don’t like the chocolate. Next time I think I’ll take this basic recipe, add more raisins, and maybe a whiskey or bourbon sauce (the New Orleans style bread pudding).

    I also have a recipe that calls for using stale cinnamon rolls and I’m thinking I might incorporate that twist into this recipe.

  46. Made this last night and am afraid to try it…. It doesn’t really look that appetizing to me… (somehow I didn’t imagine a chocolate bread pudding looking like dog food….) Also I’m questioning if my brioche was still stale or already turning bad….

  47. Marthe, this really isn’t the most gorgeous of desserts, in my opinion! Mine looked pretty strange but it tasted fine.
    Not one of my favorites but I had a fun time making it.

  48. I have made bread pudding a few times before, every time no one ate it….and I didnt grow up with it so I never know if I’ve done it right.

    I literally just threw out my challah loaf…so it was either wheat bread or …my left over lemon yogurt cake in my freezer from a previous TWD. It was exactly 12 oz. but rather dense so I had to leave out some of the liquid because it was REALLY soupy. We will see what happens! I think we all have the soupy issue so good to know Im not the only one!

    No scrambling eggs this time though! YAHOOOOOOO!

  49. I didn’t do the dried fruit, but I did add some cinnamon to the custard and a pinch of salt. I think it would have been nice with some bites of chocolate in it.

    But yeah, I think I might be with everyone else in that the custard would be better without the chocolate in it.

  50. I prepared this for Easter too. Everyone seemed to love it, though it was quite rich. I prepared Dorie’s chocolate sauce and whipped cream, which of course made it over the top. I halfed the recipe easily. I actually had to make my own brioche bread because I cannot find it or challah here in Italy. I”m sure I could have found a substitute, but this gave me a chance to bake broiche (which turned out ok).

  51. I think I proved that it’s possible to have too stale bread for bread pudding. Mine was NOT a success due to several user errorsss. Yeah, there were a couple. It was crazy easy to make though so I’m going to have to try it again. This is how we learn right? :)

  52. Hey Dorie, This Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding looks just like what my Grandma use to make. Is ther any way I can get the recipe? I would be soooooo happy. Thanks, Kathy

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