“This recipe is very simple and a good one if you have some stale bread," says the author of 'The German Baking Book'
Great British Baking Show alum Jürgen Krauss has a traditional German treat that deserves a spot at your holiday meal.
"My book is very much about food memories from my childhood," he explains. "There were two big cherry trees in our garden, and one of them had these big dark juicy cherries. Sometimes we would come home from school and my mother had made this for us."
If you don’t have a cherry pitter, use the blunt end of a chopstick, a metal reusable straw or a pastry tip to poke out the centers. But, if you want to stick with traditional, you don't even need to bother.
“In Germany this pudding is generally made with whole cherries, including the pits! But it works well without the pits too,” Krauss says.
Jürgen Krauss’s Cherry and Hazelnut Bread Pudding
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into ½-in. cubes, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
1 (10-oz.) baguette, cut into ¼-in. slices (about 9 cups)
2 to 2¼ cups whole milk
1 cup hazelnuts
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) kirsch or brandy
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground cloves
3 large eggs, separated
2 lbs. fresh cherries, pitted, or 4 (15-oz.) jars dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup, drained
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch-square baking pan with butter; set aside. Place bread slices in a large bowl; set aside.
2. Bring 2 cups milk just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium. Immediately remove from heat, and pour over bread slices; toss until evenly coated. Let bread soak at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes.
3. Process hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Whisk together ground hazelnuts, sugar, brandy, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves and egg yolks in a small bowl until fully combined. Fold into bread mixture until just combined. If mixture is clumping, add remaining ¼ cup of milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen.
4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute; gently fold into bread mixture. Fold in butter cubes and cherries until evenly incorporated. Transfer bread mixture to prepared pan.
5. Bake in oven until top is crisp but not too dark and pudding is set in the center, 1 hour to 1 hour, 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
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