Last Friday, I was given three Panera cinnamon crunch bagels that were left over from an event at work. I thought, I will have one of these for the best breakfast ever tomorrow while I watch The Kitchen on Saturday morning! Then it’ll be football time. Best September morning ever.
Then I thought, I probably shouldn’t eat three whole Panera bagels before they get stale (i.e. in the next day or so). That’s like twelve zillion calories.
Then I thought, LET’S MAKE THEM INTO BREAD PUDDING LIKE ON CHOPPED.
(Which, I am aware, does not change the calorie count of the bagels. In fact, it increases it, but once you’re excited about Panera bagels calorie counts are the last things on your mind. ANYWAY.)
As we all know, every contestant on Chopped makes bread pudding for dessert out of literally anything they’re given and it never cooks all the way through, which is a problem because 30 minutes is not enough time for that. But I would have time. I would not have to face the dreaded chopping block. I would not be chopped.
And I would not have to figure out how to include ketchup or leftover Greek salad in a dessert or anything.
Let’s open the baskets.
My basket ingredients:
one (1) leftover Panera Bread (i.e. “popular bakery”) cinnamon crunch bagel*
one (1) questionable egg (I promise it’s not actually questionable; I’m just super weird about expiration dates. I barely trust them. It’s like, use the eggs within a couple weeks and then side-eye them in the fridge forever after.)
some (1/4 cup?) half & half
a dribble (a capful) vanilla
from the pantry: a sprinkle of granulated sugar
*Does it crack anyone else up when they make generic names for things you know are brand name? Like “puffed rice cereal” or “chocolate sandwich cookie” or “strawberry popping candy.” Too funny, especially when the contestants almost say Rice Krispies or Oreos or Pop Rocks.
Time starts NOW.
First I scraped the cinnamon topping off the bagel and saved it to sprinkle on top of the bread pudding, because the Chopped judges go nuts when you use a basket ingredient two ways.
Then I chopped up the bagel into 1-inch-ish cubes and mixed it with a beaten egg, half & half, vanilla and sugar.
I baked it at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. (Conclusion: of course bread puddings never work on Chopped. Of course.)
Time to plate!
In conclusion, if Aarón Sanchez and Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian were here, they would love this. Scott Conant might not; he is sometimes difficult about things.
(It was delicious.)