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Today's Case

Piccadilly Bread Pudding

From: J L
Date: 3/21/2023, 2:30 PM
To: Phaedrus 

On 3/20/2023 6:36 PM, J L wrote:

Re Piccadilly recipes. I was a baker for Piccadilly in Jackson MS in the 1990s. 
The biscuits are standard buttermilk biscuits made with butter, salt, sugar, 
baking soda and powder and buttermilk. The off thing about Piccadilly biscuits 
was that we used a combination of 80% soft flour (all purpose) and 20% hard flour 
(bread) and we used yeast. Yes! I would go in at 5:00 am and start making all the 
baked goods. The biscuits are all made early in the morning and kept in a cooler 
until needed. They would be moved to a proofing cabinet and briefly risen before 
baking, along with rolls.

The problem with making biscuits early in the day is that they won't keep all day 
with just baking powder and soda so you have to extend the doughs life a little 
with yeast. This made for a more crumbly sandwich type biscuit.

Apple pie was the same apple pie you would make at home. It started with apples 
that we hand-peeled. Tossed with sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, a bit of clear-jel 
(refined cornstarch product that sets up clear and not milky) and vanilla. We then 
packed it into uncooked pie crusts over filling the crust. We topped with another 
crust and cut a vent. Brushed with an egg wash and baked in a piping hot oven. 
It is literally that simple.

Dinner rolls are a basic milk bread dinner roll like any you can get a recipe for. 
Just a large batch. The trick was that we had a device to cut the roll shape like 
a pie with wedges, you could get a lot of portioned rolls our of a single ball of 
dough. Each wedge was folded and layer in a prepared deep pan and baked.

Pecan pies were made 9 at a time. Same recipe using eggs, Karo syrup, sugar, vanilla, 
and pecans as your home recipe, layer in a raw pie crust.

Note: all pie crusts were raw.

Cobblers were the same as fruit pies except the fruit was cooked with clear gel in a 
commercial double boiler, poured into a pan and topped with whatever left over pie 
crust we had.

Harvest cake was all the messed up pies and cakes, and first sacrificial pieces when 
we plated desserts. We would put all of it (except oreo cookie pie) in a large container. 
We would add a box mix cake to it and some milk and a few eggs. Beat it and pour into 
cake rounds and bake again. Was, oddly enough, the number one seller in the 90s. Haha

Cornbread sticks and Mexican cornbread were the same mix, just we divided it and added 
frozen mixed Mexican vegetables in one and made those into muffins and plain into sticks.

Here is a tip. ALL Piccadilly recipes were kept in a central recipe box in each kitchen. 
The recipe pages were 8.5 x 5.5 (half sheet of paper). There were hundreds in each box. 
Each recipe card was numbered. We had to all memorize those cards for our specific 
department. I was familiar with a number of locations, all having the same box and recipes. 
The box was about 6 inches wide, 10 inches tall and about 18-20 inches deep. It fit on 
a commercial kitchen counter which is 26 inches deep minimally.

If you can find a closing location, I bet you could score one of the OLD boxes from their 
storage because they use all electronic recipes now. Just an idea.


Hello John,

Thanks for writing. Lots of interesting information.

There are no Piccadilly Cafeterias in Maine, which is where I live now, or anywhere in the Northeast. I lived in Jackson, MS in the 1970s and I ate at Piccadilly there many times.


On 3/21/2023 12:44 PM, John wrote:

I read that you were hoping for their bread pudding recipe. The bread pudding was made 
from the excess loaves of Texas toast that we saved during the week. Not the garlic mind 
you, but the regular Italian style bread that we thick sliced we would save and tear apart. 
The custard was a normal custard that you would make at home, just done at an institutional 
size (gallons) then the rum sauce was actually made with a prepared rum sauce that we added 
butter and sugar to and heated. 

The only things in our kitchen's bakery that were not made from scratch was rum sauce 
(doctored product), harvest cake (left over cake and fruit/nut pies and cake mix), vegetable 
mix for cornbread (came frozen), white cake (cake mixes and flavored/decorated by us), all 
chocolate cake bases like black forest and German chocolate(same dark cake mix then decorated 
by hand), oreo cookie pie (simply butter and ground cookie crust, whipped cream cheese and 
whipped cream and powdered sugar filling with crushed cookie.)

Thanks, John!


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