One of Britain’s most-loved recipes, bread and butter pudding dates back to the early 1700s. It tastes indulgent but is actually a canny way to use up stale bread.
- 100g plump raisins
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 10-12 slices of slightly stale white bread, crusts removed
- 150g unsalted butter
- 400ml whole milk
- 300ml double cream
- Good grating of fresh nutmeg
- Vanilla pod, halved, seeds scraped
- 4 medium free-range eggs, plus 3 medium free-range egg yolks
- 5 tbsp golden caster sugar
- Grated zest of a lemon
- 2-3 tbsp demerara sugar
- 1. Put the raisins and brandy in a small saucepan over a low heat. Gently warm together, then set aside for 15-20 minutes to allow the raisins to absorb the brandy.
- 2. Butter one side of each bread slice, then cut into triangles. Layer butter-side up in a 3 litre ovenproof dish, scattering with the soaked raisins (and their liquid) in between and overlapping the slices so they stand up out of the dish a little.
- 3. Put the milk, cream, nutmeg and vanilla seeds and pod into a saucepan, then bring to the boil. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, caster sugar and lemon zest together in a large jug, then pour the hot milk and cream mixture over and whisk well.
- 4. Pour the custard mixture over the bread, discarding the vanilla pod, and press down lightly, making sure the custard gets into all the gaps. Set aside for 20 minutes (see tip).
- 5. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Put the dish in a large roasting tin and put onto the oven rack. Pour a kettle of just boiled water into the tin so it comes about halfway up the sides of the dish, then bake for 30-35 minutes.
- 6. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and lift out the pudding dish. Set aside for 10 minutes before serving in thick scoops.
PER SERVING (BASED ON 8) 615kcals, 43.8g fat (25.5g saturated), 10.6g protein, 40.6g carbs (24.9g sugars), 0.7g salt, 1.1g fibre
If you don’t have stale bread, preheat the oven to its lowest temperature (around 60°C), remove the crusts from a loaf of sliced bread, then put the slices in a single layer in the oven for 30 minutes, turning once, until they’re beginning to firm. Remove and continue with the recipe.
You must let the pudding stand before cooking so the bread can absorb the custard – otherwise you may end up with dry patches of bread.
Try with… sourdough or a sweet bread such as brioche, panettone or Welsh bara brith instead of plain white to add texture and/or extra sweetness.