12/05/2019

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Last weekend I baked some bread, ate two slices, and then promptly forgot about it. It was wrapped, and out of sight, which is probably the best way for me to lose track of things. Thankfully I found it again before it went furry, but it was a lot more dense than it had been, and dry too.

That means...BREAD PUDDING.

Not bread and butter pudding, no. This is a different animal. Bread pudding as I've always known it is a great big bowl of spiced, fruited and sugared bread, all smooshed and squished together with milk until it's one homogenous mass, and then baked until it becomes a slab of darkly sweet perfection. A brilliant and thrifty way to use up stale or old bread and probably a cheap way to fill the kids up when they got in from school. I adore it, and am quite protective of it. (I've long felt that Bread and Butter Pudding was a bit of an imposter, the smaller, more delicate sister of the big, comforting and homely eldest.)

I set to with gusto, and more than a little excitement.

Oven 170C fan
1 x solid base cake tin - do not use a loose bottomed one

700g of stale white bread, cubed
Milk - whole, please, no skimmed or semi skimmed here
1/2 cup / 115g sugar (I used golden caster but use what you have)
2 1/2 tbs mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 handfuls of sultanas
2 medium eggs
50g butter, melted

Put all the bread into a large bowl. Pour over the milk until it's just under the top of the bread.
Leave it to soak, but stir and smoosh it every so often.
When all the milk has been soaked up, and the bread is all broken down, add the sugar, spices, fruit and eggs.
Brush your cake tin with some of the melted butter, then add the rest to the bread mixture.
Stir it all again, add more spice if you want, then pour the lot into the cake tin.
Bake it for 40 minutes, or until set.
Sprinkle demerara and caster sugar on top and leave to cool, then cut into slabs.

You can change this up, add what you like. Glace cherries, or candied peel, more spices, different bread, different sugars. It's your dessert after all.

Nigella Lawson says it should have suet in it. I've not tried that, but I'm willing to give it a go!





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