Wednesday 16 September 2015

Savoury Bagel + Cream Cheese Bread Pudding.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It's bagels for a crowd!

But first, can we discuss the fact that it's Eid-ul-Adha next week?
It's pretty exciting even though Eid-ul-Fitr feels like it was just yesterday.

Eid-ul-Adha, of course, comes hand in hand with Hajj. For those of you who aren't familiar with Hajj, it's a pretty big deal for us Muslims. Muslims from all over the world travel to Saudi Arabia to take part in a pilgrimage which follows in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

I was very fortunate to perform the Hajj in 2012. What an experience! We had been for the lesser pilgrimage called Umrah, many times before but the Hajj was something else. One of the many lessons it taught me was that there is a beautiful wisdom behind every command of Allah. You can see a full post (with pictures, obviously!) about my journey here.

On to this savoury bagel cream cheese bread pudding. It's one of those dishes that I cannot believe I didn't try sooner. The combination of bagels, cream cheese, tomatoes and red onion is one that already works. This version takes it up a notch and bakes it with a super simple salt and pepper custard. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with smoked salmon and capers or without. Me? I'm already thinking up the sweet version with cinnamon raisin bagels and a custard spiked with orange zest.

Bread Pudding, previously: Marmalade Panettone Bread Pudding

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Onion Bagels
2. Cream Cheese
3. Red Onion
4. Cherry Tomatoes
5. Salt and Pepper
6. Milk
7. Eggs

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, assemble the bread pudding. Take a deep casserole dish with high sides. Mine measured 30 x 19 cm (12 x 8 inches).

I placed the dish onto a baking tray just to make it easier to get in and out of the oven. I also lightly greased it with a little oil.

First up, the bagels.

You can use any savoury bagel you like. Plain, seeded but I went with the onion just because it's my favourite and I feel it adds a lovely extra savoury note to the pudding.

So, take 3 Onion Bagels.

Slice them through the middle.

Open them up.

And, slice up into cubes.

Until you've sliced them all.

Next up, cherry tomatoes. Or tomatoes. Whatever you have.

I used tomatoes from the garden - you'll need about 140 grams Cherry Tomatoes.

Give them a quick rinse.

Slice them in half or quarters depending on the size.

Like so.

Next, 1 small Red Onion.

Peel it and slice in half.

Thinly slice the red onion. Or should that be purple onion?

Tomatoes are done, and so is the onion.

On to the classic bagel accompaniment - cream cheese. We'll need 180 grams Cream Cheese.

Take off the lid and the foil.

We need to cube this and I found the easiest way was to slice with a knife whilst it's still in the tub.

Like that!

Everything is prepped so it's time to assemble.

Take your prepared dish.

Put in 1/3 of the bagel cubes.

1/3 of the sliced purple onion.

And, 1/3 of the tomatoes.

Next, dot 1/3 of the cream cheese cube things all over.

That's one layer done - give it a tiny season with Salt and Pepper.

Also, beware of cream cheese thieves!

Then, layer the remaining ingredients until they're all finished.

Once that's done, it's to whisk up the custard.

We begin with 4 large Eggs.

Crack them into a large bowl.

Next, the white stuff.

We'll need 280 ml Milk.

Pour it in with the eggs.

Add 1 teaspoon Salt.

And, 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper.

Grab a fork.

And, give it a whisk.

I poured it back into the jug to make pouring easier.

Now, all you do is combine the two.

Slowly begin pouring the custard over the bagels.

Until it's all in.

Lightly press everything down. They don't all have to be submerged in the liquid. Actually, it's better if they're not because you'll get different textures throughout the pudding.

Before baking, we're going to leave the pudding to soak for a few hours. The original recipe left it overnight so feel free to try that too.

Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave for a few hours to soak. I did about 5 hours.

When you're ready, bake at 180C / Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour until puffed and golden. If it's baked, there shouldn't be any runny liquid.

Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving - it will deflate slightly but will still taste just as good.

Serve with smoked salmon and capers, if that's your thing. If it isn't, this bread pudding is delicious on its own.

Full Written Recipe:

Savoury Bagel + Cream Cheese Bread Pudding.

Prep Time: About 10 minutes + 5 hours, to soak.
Bake Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: About 6 people.

3 Onion Bagels, sliced through the middle and
cut into cubes
140 grams Cherry Tomatoes, halved or quartered
180 grams Cream Cheese, cut into small pieces
1 small Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 large Eggs
280ml Milk
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper


Take a deep casserole dish with high sides. Mine measured 30 x 19 cm (12 x 8 inches). Lightly grease it.

Layer up the bagels, cream cheese, red onion and cherry tomatoes. I did about three layers and seasoned each one with a little salt and pepper.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and black pepper.
Pour the mixture over the bagels. Cover with cling-film and leave to soak for a few hours.

To bake, pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Place the dish on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour until puffed and golden. There shouldn’t be any liquid.

Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. It will deflate in this time but will taste just as good.
Serve with smoked salmon and capers but on its own, it’s just as good.

{Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook}

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:
Macaroni Cheese

Keep me in your duas, please, and enjoy your bread pudding,


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