Or Why Bread and Swiss Cheese Souffle is an Incredibly Delicious Way to Use Leftover Bread.
I'm lucky enough to be married to a man who loves to bake bread. A couple of times a week he gets up early to start a batch before work, and then he finishes it when he gets home from work.
Of course during all of this I'm lying on the couch eating bonbons.
Well, no. I'm not.
But, I definitely don't have the “get up early in the morning just to make bread” gene either. However, I'm the lucky recipient of his endeavors, just like when we first met at a bakery. He was on one side of the counter covered in flour, and I was on the other side looking like Gilda Radner the morning after in that old SNL ad parody “Hey, You.”
Well, perhaps not that bedraggled and not carrying high heels. But, again I'm not a morning person, and I had to catch a bus at the obscene hour of 6 a.m. to go see my younger cousin graduate from high school across the state. I was working on about 4 hours of sleep after a party, and I needed coffee and a bread product. And that's how I met the guy who became my husband.
However, sometimes he reverts to baking for a crowd even when it's just the two of us, and we end up with much more bread than we can eat. Normally that's fine because we just freeze the leftovers or I turn them into croutons. But the other day he made four baguettes for us – and our freezer was full of food with nary an ounce of space to spare. I wanted to do something special - other than make croutons - with the last baguette that had gone stale, so I decided to use that delicious bread as the base of a souffle.
And what a souffle it was. Light and airy and cheesy with parsley and scallions to offset the richness of the cheese. The best part? It wasn't difficult to make!
So the next time you have some leftover bread, give this recipe a shot. You won't be disappointed.
Bread and Swiss Cheese Souffle
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook time:45 minutes
Yields – Serves 4
16 grams fat
- 1 baguette
- 2 cups of hot milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese
- ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup of finely chopped scallions
- Black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the crust off of the baguette and chop the remaining bread into 1-inch pieces. Place the bread in a medium bowl and pour the hot milk over it. Let the bread absorb all of the milk, about 15 minutes.
While the bread is absorbing the milk, crack the eggs. Separate the yolks and egg whites into 2 bowls. Whisk the yolks together and add the swiss cheese, scallions, parsley and black pepper. Stir well to combine and set aside.
Using a hand mixer, a whisk or a standing mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. If using a hand or standing mixer it will take just a couple of minutes. If using a whisk, it will take longer and it will be a work out – but not a really difficult one. It just takes a little patience. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the bread and milk and stir well to incorporate.
Grease a souffle dish with the butter, making sure to grease the top as well as the bottom and the sides and pour the egg yolk/bread mixture in. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture, in 3 steps. Doing it all at once can make the whites deflate. Be careful and be gentle with the egg whites though, even though you are staggering the process. Airy egg whites are the secret to an airy souffle. Carefully use a spatula to trace a 1-inch deep circle from the outside of the dish. That will help the souffle rise more in the middle.
Remove the top rack from the oven, and bake on the center rack for 45-50 minutes or until it's puffed and golden brown. Don't open the oven to check on it though. Just peek through the door until the 45 minute mark. And if you open the door and notice that it needs a little more time at that point, close the door very gently. Remove the foil and serve immediately before it deflates.
This goes incredibly well with a light salad of baby greens and a nice dry white wine.
(©Photos by Launie Kettler)