Baked Bread and Butter Pudding

11:30 am on 19 September 2011

Reprinted with permission from What’s For Pudding? published by Penguin NZ. Copyright © text and photographs Alexa Johnston, 2011

If you use soft, white sliced bread you risk getting a gluey texture in your pudding so try to use slices of sourdough or wholemeal bread, at least two days old. Some recipes suggest tearing the bread into pieces rather than slices (good with brioche or an open-textured baguette) and others reduce the bread to crumbs, but the basic approach is the same. Fresh breadcrumbs can be quickly made in the food processor – a significant improvement on having to grate them by hand.

Enough for 4–6 people.

baked Bread and Butter PuddingIngredients

  • 6–8 slices, thick stale bread, crusts removed
  • 2 tbsp / 30g softened butter
  • 3–4 tbsp jam optional or marmalade or raisins or sultanas
  • 1 pint/600ml full-cream milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼  cup / 50 g sugar
  • cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling
  • icing sugar for dusting

Making the pudding

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Fill a greased 6-cup/1.5-litre ovenproof dish with layers of the bread spread with the butter; or with butter and jam or butter and marmalade.

Instead of using jam or marmalade to flavour and sweeten the pudding, you could sprinkle each layer with a little sugar and a few currants or sultanas and maybe some ground spices. Try a pinch of cardamom with apricot jam, for example.

Gently heat the milk and just before it boils, pour it on to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time. Strain into a jug and pour slowly and evenly over the bread and butter. (Add a few tablespoons of whisky or sherry to the custard if you wish.)

Let the pudding sit for about half an hour, pushing the bread down every now and then to ensure it soaks up the custard mixture – you don’t want to end up with dry patches.

Sprinkle some more sugar and maybe a little cinnamon on top and bake the pudding for about 45 minutes sitting in another dish filled with hot water – this stops the custard mixture from boiling and spoiling. When it is cooked, a sharp knife pushed gently into the centre should come out clean. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Roger’s Layered Bread and Butter Pudding

This is my friend Roger Blackley’s invention and a very good-looking pudding. Cover the base of a baking dish with slices of dark rye bread, preferably with sunflower seeds in it, spreading each slice generously with butter and lime marmalade. Fill the dish with slices of buttered baguette and some rum-soaked raisins or sultanas. Top with another layer of the rye bread, butter-and-marmalade side down. Pour the custard mixture over (see basic recipe this page) and leave to sit for 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally with your hand. Bake as usual and serve warm rather than hot to ensure the layers hold together. It is also delicious cold.'

Stephen Morris’s wine recommendation

John Forest Collection (the top of his tree) 2005 Noble Riesling, from Marlborough. Very pure, very bright gold. A massive 220 g/l residual sugar – but you’d never know. Incredible balance, mandarin, sweetness, length – amazing! Get in quick as the 05 has almost run out, and this is only made in the very rare years when everything align.

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