Wild Mushroom & Challah Bread Pudding

This was everyone’s favorite dish from our recent Thanksgiving dinner. SLAM DUNK and quite easy to do. The hardest part is arranging a trip to Vancouver, an eyeball with bettyq, and her being generous enough to share what is tantamount to a Prince’s ransom in personally foraged and subsequently dried and vacuum-packed wild mushrooms that include morels, matsutakes, lobster mushrooms, porcinis, etc. If you bought similar mushrooms at retail prices and used them generously in this dish as I have, they would cost more than your turkey! :) So thank you bettyq, for the wonderful bounty, made all the more special by your having picked them in the woods, and for suggesting that I use at least part of the stash for this bread pudding…

I augmented the dried mushrooms with some fresh ones, the light brown capped mushrooms in the photo above. The mixture of fresh and dried means an intensity of flavor, and the texture of fresh shrooms. Challah bread is an egg yolk based braided loaf of bread, traditionally without butter or milk, and I purchased my loaf at the Saturday Salcedo market. Unless you are cooking for a kosher audience, you may replace challah with any rich bread like brioche or as bettyq suggests, old croissants (how extravagant is that?!) or if you want a pinoy twist, use some not-so-sweet ensaimada, the old-fashioned kind of course, not the airy ones found in malls these days…

I used this recipe to guide me, along with bettyq’s tips, and because of guest dietary restrictions, this version has no bacon. First, I cubed up nearly a whole loaf of challah bread and placed it in a 300F oven to dry it out and make them just slightly golden. In Manila’s humid weather, the baked cubes will soften a bit if stored overnight, so just be cognizant of that. Ideal to have them dry. I was eyeballing proportions but I would guess this was roughly 8-10 cups worth. I hydrated approximately 2 cups of dried mushrooms in some warm water for about 1 hour until they had puffed back up, and chopped up about 2 cups worth of fresh mushrooms. It sounds like a lot, but you want the dish to be heady with aroma and flavor, and remember, there is no bacon… I ditched the garlic from the recipe as I was afraid it would overpower the mushrooms. In a pan, I sauteed about 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shallots or those small native pinoy red onions in multi-segments, not the whole red onions, in several tablespoons of butter. Add a scant teaspoon of sugar if you want to really caramelize the onions. Then add in chopped dried and fresh mushrooms and saute until they have rendered their liquid. Wait until say half of the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Whisk together 2-3 cups of cream (I used one cup of milk mixed with 2 cups of heavy/pure cream ) and 1 cup of homemade and very intense turkey stock. If using chicken stock instead, use less of it and add more cream. Add 8 eggs, salt and pepper to taste and whisk some more. Add this mixture to the toasted challah bread and stir to coat well. Add the cooled mushroom mixture and a generous hand full of chopped Italian parsley and mix well. Add 1/c cup of grated parmesan cheese and stir. Butter several ramekins (number will vary based on the size of your ramekins, we used 13-14) and load them up with the pudding mixture. Top with more parmesan cheese and bake in 350F oven for roughly 30 minutes until the tops are just slightly crisp and golden. Great hot, warm or cool. Terrific with turkey, but I suspect even better with a good roast beef. The pudding was softer than the stuffing we made with sourdough bread, richer because of the challah bread, cream and eggs, and jam-packed with flavor from the mushrooms. If you don’t have this glorious selection of dried mushrooms, try using a selection of fresh from the local grocery, add in some shiitakes, button mushrooms, etc and maybe just add that garlic back in to ramp up the flavor. Certain dishes are so good they become mainstays of our kitchen around the holidays. This mushroom and challah bread pudding is now on that list. Thanks bettyq!


32 Responses

  1. Wow, this looks good and yummy…this is the first time I heard of it…I believe only flavorful mushrooms will match this recipe…I mean if you use some straw mushrooms…it would not yield hearty pudding results…

  2. Imagine if it had bacon it would have been elevated to the stratosphere in flavor. Everything is better with bacon :)

  3. “terrific with turkey but I suspect even better with a good roast beef” . I make a mushroom bread pudding with my beef sometimes and I never even thought of serving it with my turkey. Thanks for the idea MM and Bettyq. My book club will be happy.

  4. I am absolutely loving this recipe! Thanks for sharing, MM! Btw, it was such a treat to have met you yesterday. I would have loved to show you pictures of the leg of lamb that I made based on your recipe but my companion was getting all embarrassed. Hehehe…..I’m such a fan!

  5. Ellen, good to have met you, and at my favorite upscale turo-turo in Greenhills as well. If you were wondering about the crowd, that was part of the crew doing their own Christmas shopping in advance, I figured it would be more useful if they chose what they really could use/wanted… :)

  6. You are soooooo welcome, MM! I am really glad that you, Mrs. MM and your guests enjoyed it!

    It also tastes incredibly good added to a biscuit mix, MM and then dunked into a bowl of soup after it’s baked. KNow the secret of light biscuits…cake flour all the way, not half apf and cake flour, plus SINGLE -ACTING baking powder. Of course, everything has to be cold! Even when the biscuits are eaten after a few hours, it still is light and flaky and it doesn’t turn to a hockey puck!

    If you decide to go ahead with the global exchange gift…I am in …and I know now what to contribute!

  7. Saved this to my Christmas dinner ideas file. Thanks Mr MM for sharing. It turned out really well too even without the bacon, eh? Im thinking of replacing the chicken stock with cream of mushroom soup to further enhance the mushroom taste.

  8. I’ve been a fairly new reader (2 months) and an avid fan of your blog and I must say, you are a God-sent! Your recipes and instructions are a very enjoyable read and fun to follow! But this recipe takes the cake! I have a soft spot for mushrooms and this recipe will be one for me to try. I also make my own breads, challah being one of the most fun to do, so I’ll definitely try this and update you on it! Thanks for all you do and share! My best regards and thanks as well to Bettyq!

  9. I am thinking of adding a couple of drops of truffle infused oil, but maybe it will make it over the top?

  10. MM, I’ve decided to add this dish to our Thanksgiving feast next month. I’ll let you know how it turns out! Can’t wait.

  11. Joseph…or you can add the soaking liquid strained with coffee filter to get the mushroom essence added to the stock….just like when you make stir fries with dried shitake mushrooms…add a touch of the soaking liquid to the stir fries…..hmmm, mabango your stir fry!

    That is a good idea, Nina, or if you have truffle salt….Next time, I think I will add Hamon Iberico, too, plus add a few saffron threads!!!…garnish with SHAVED BLACK TRUFFLES and dust the top with my gold dust I use for cakes! But then again, it might topple over now!…

    Better not or I will be called elitist, MM!

  12. Yes! May i echo Joseph of Vancouver’s “christmas dinner idea.” Thank you MM and Bettyq, and God bless you both always. However MM, will a “good roast beef” recipe be on its way here, and can you suggest where to get challah bread in the South? Thank you thank you thank you :-)

  13. Looks sooo yummy!! Will do it for thanksgiving, too.

    Betty q, where do you get or where can you order reasonably priced truffles? Salamat

  14. Wisdom Tooth…googled it for you just now! Go on e-bay…DALI!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know how many ounces 1 truffle mushroom is but it looks like there is 1 mushroom in a jar. Unless naduduling na ako in front of this computer, they sell it for $14!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…plus FREE SHIPPING TO US!…and it is a BUY IT NOW PRICE!

  15. BTW, Wisdom Tooth…what they are selling TUBER INDICUM is less aromatic than the WHITE ALBA and BLACK WINTER TRUFFLES . But they are still truffles nonetheless. Also, it’s origin is SPAIN! …Your son might want to buy it from you over there for it could be a lot cheaper?

    Oregon is known as TRUFFLE STATE? …google oregonblacktruffle.com You can get fresh truffles over there but it isn’t cheap!

  16. Joseph…you might want to check the gills and the condition of the mushrooms…baka naman naghihingalo na sila! BUT if you are going to dry them at mukha nalalanta na sila, it is good for the dehydrator! If they are however looking fresh and dandy and really smell wonderful, do not dehydrate…you buy them…cook them briefly in garlic and shallots, then cool them down and freeze for the holidays!

    I got more than I needed last week at pinamigay ko na nga kay CWID!

  17. Bettyq thanks for the tip on buying chantrelle mushrooms. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. I pass up on this sale. Too late na kasi to drive down to Vancouver and lakas pa nang ulan.

  18. @PinkCarnations, you can make your own Challah Bread. It is so easy and so delicious on its own! I’ve been using the “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes” recipe. I have the cookbook but here is a link I found online:


    I only use butter (not oil) and use 5 instead of 4 eggs. Make sure you use good quality butter and honey (they tend to be more watery in the Philippines).

  19. Hello Marketman! Just to let you know that your site might have been hacked again. After I clicked on this post, a couple of bogus websites appeared and asked me to install software.

  20. @ ECC – thank you so much for all the info, that sure is a big help! And so sorry for my late reply. Have already tried making this recipe at home and the family loved it ( even substituting challah with ordinary bread ).

  21. @ ECC – thank you so much for all the info! Will very surely come in handy when i decide to make the challah. And sorry for my late reply – didnt see your comment till now. Have actually already done the pudding at home and the family loved it, even if i used ordinary bread instead of challah. Thanks again!

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