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Rocking Breakfast – Recipe #1

October 17, 2014

Sunday is the seventh instalment of chef Josh Coletto’s Rock n Roll Brunch at The Low Beat in Albany. That means this is the fourth one since I’ve returned to the area. And I’m still going to have to miss it. Damn obligations. Hopefully, I’ll make it next month to the eighth one in November. With my luck I’ll be out of town. Harumpf.

Chef Josh also participates in the Chefs’ Consortium, and I’ve followed his career in the Capital Region since he first appeared on my radar at The Flying Chicken. Now he’s mostly working down at Local 111, but still comes back up to Albany to cook these monthly brunches.

This time around he’s got a local grassfed chicken fried steak with gravy. Add a fried egg and one of his buttermilk biscuits, and I’m a happy guy. But these come with home fries too. I guess if you’re eating steak, you have to have some potatoes.

A few weeks ago Josh and I were chatting, and it dawned on me that I may not be the only person who is sad about missing these brunches. So together we came up with a little plan.

He’s agreed to share his recipes. Well, not all of his recipes. You’ll have to wait until he’s more famous and gets a cookbook deal. But he has agreed to share one a month. Maybe you were lucky and ordered this popular dish at Rock n Roll Brunch number six. Or perhaps, like me, you just weren’t able to make it.

These menus change all the time, so don’t go to The Low Beat on Sunday looking for this bread pudding french toast. However, you can now try your hand at this decadent treat whenever you like. Or at least until butternut squash season ends.

Oh, who am I kidding. You can get butternut squash all through the winter. And as spring rolls around and we start looking towards bathing suit season, this sweet and hearty breakfast will be decidedly less appealing. But for now, as the leaves are turning and the days grow shorter, it’s time to start putting on a little winter weight. Hope you’ve got your cream, butter, eggs and whole milk ready.


10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
4 cups milk
1½ cups sugar
2 tbsp. Bourbon whiskey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium butternut squash (1 lb. 10 oz.), peeled and cut into ½” cubes (about 4 cups)
6 cups diced bread (excellent if its stale! I used Challah bread)

2 cups heavy cream
4 eggs, beaten

1. Make the bread pudding: Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ x 13″ glass or ceramic baking dish with a little butter and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together the melted butter, milk, sugar, whiskey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Mix the squash and bread, pour over custard mix and let sit for 10 minutes. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 50 minutes, uncover, and continue baking until bread pudding is golden brown, about 1 more hour.

3. Once the bread pudding is cool, you can now turn it into french toast! Mix together heavy cream and eggs and set aside. Cut bread pudding into thin slices and dip in batter. Cook in a pan or griddle over medium heat until golden brown on each side. Enjoy!

If you do get a chance to make this, please let me know how it goes. Naturally, it’s easier to just head out to The Low Beat on Sunday and let Josh cook for you himself. He won’t be making this again, but he will have a pumpkin bread french toast on the menu.

I see that there are a lot of pumpkin lovers in the world today. As someone who has loved pumpkin his whole life, I’m a little confused why so many have taken so long to catch on to its deliciousness. But I can sort of understand why after a life of abstinence so many people are going absolutely bonkers and trying to stuff pumpkin into everything. Slow down. Pumpkin is great, but there are still some things that are #BetterThanPumpkin.

That’s right. I’m joining the pumpkin hashtag backlash.
Okay. Not really. That’s just dumb.

There I go, rambling on again. I hope you can get brunch on Sunday. If you can’t at least now you’ve got a fancy recipe to make a decidedly seasonal bread pudding french toast at home. Have a great weekend. Hope it’s delicious. We’ll have more hot fresh fussy on Monday.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2014 9:51 am

    You just shared a recipe that has butternut squash (find me someone who could distinguish the cooked flesh of butternut squash from that of any cooking “pumpkin,” which is really just a squash anyhow) in it and then complained about people’s pumpkin enthusiasm… A delightfully strange mixed message.

    I think I mentioned this on the twitters. But none of the present “pumpkin” craze has anything to do with the actual squash. It is enthusiasm for “pie spice.” The weird cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg (mace, allspice, cloves maybe too) amalgam that is being peddled as “pumpkin” spice is what people are charged up about.

    If there were actual enthusiasm for consuming the plentiful, affordable, nutritious, locally grown cultivars of Cucurbita pepo then this would be something no one should have any right criticizing. It would be something to sing from the rooftops…

  2. October 17, 2014 10:17 am

    Thank you Mr Dave for scratching my itch on the “pumpkin” craze. Every time I hear somebody say they love pumpkin coffee or (god help us) pumpkin ale, I want to put my foot through the nearest jack o’lantern.

  3. October 17, 2014 11:39 am

    Um, er, regarding this recipe and setting aside the apparent pumpkin spice kerfuffle: yer kilin’ me

  4. February 28, 2015 2:50 am

    Josh absolutely kills it every time.

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