Bread and Butter Pudding

Pirate Dreams
Posted on 07/18/2012 by cakecrumbs

For the second cook book challenge in a row, I got to tackle a dish I've been promising to make my boyfriend for over half a decade (wow, way to make us sound old). There were two desserts that fit the bill, actually, the other being bombe alaska, but I had to skip that at the first line: "This recipe requires an ice cream machine". Neeext.

This was on his list of all-time favourite desserts and something I'd both never eaten nor made. Perfect for the challenge.
The dish is of course bread and butter pudding. It involves custard. Of course my custard-loving fiend of a boyfriend was going to adore this. My dad was also over for dinner and he'd in the past mentioned his love of this dessert, so the occasion was perfect. I made us a beef casserole for dinner and then we nommed on this. Perfect winter warmer. 

Matt Moran's recipe calls for sourdough fruit bread. Something which caused the workers at out local bakeries to exchange glances akin to having been asked, "I would like to purchase your left kidney." That was a dead end. They'd never heard of it and I hadn't time to bake my own, so I opted for a regular fruit loaf instead and sliced it thickly.

I really enjoyed this dessert. I'm not sure how it is supposed to taste, but I'll settle for this. Boyfriend said versions he's had in the past are on occasion soggy, and/or the crusts become chewy. This was none of those things. Perhaps it's because of how thickly I cut the slices, but the bread still retained it's soft texture while being soaked through with enough custard to become pudding-ey. 

I probably should have halved this recipe for the 4 of us, but it got plenty of mileage. We had it for brunch the next two days, one of which I topped it with raspberries for a little something different.

Here's Matt Moran's recipe for you to try:

Bread and Butter Pudding


1 loaf sourdough fruit bread
5 eggs
4 egg yolks
125g sugar
small pinch nutmeg
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
450ml milk
450ml cream
15g butter, melted


  1. Cut the fruit bread into 1cm thick slices and leave uncovered on the bench for a few hours to become stale (this helps the bread to absorb the custard).
  2. Preheat the oven to 160C
  3. Place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla bean scrapings in a bowl and gently stir with a whisk until combined (try not to incorporate too much air as you stir). Gently heat the milk and cream in a large saucepan, add the egg mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Lightly brush the bread slices with the melted butter, then arrange then in a large, ovenproof dish, making sure the slices overlap. Carefully pour the custard over the top. Gently push any bread slices that have floated up back into the custard. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard.
  5. Place the dish in a roasting tin and half fill the tin with water to create a water bath. Bake for 35 minutes. To check whether the pudding is cooked, shake the dish gently - the centre should have a slight wobble. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes if necessary. Remove the pudding from the oven and place under the grill to brown a little, if required.
Serves 8-10.

You'll find more on the book the recipe came from, and a  printable version of this recipe over at Cakecrumbs.

ejia_arath03 18th-Jul-2012 06:10 am (UTC)
I don't see the part where you heat the milk and cream. Do you not cook this custard? It intimidates me, because I always imagine accidentally scrambling the eggs and going "RUINED! FOREVERRRR!"
cakecrumbs 18th-Jul-2012 06:15 am (UTC)
Oh good spotting. I seem to have left off the end of step three. Will edit it when I'm back on a PC, but basically you heat the milk and cream, stirring, until just boiling, then add the egg mixture and stir it in. I left it on the heat while doing so - the recipe didn't specify.
afterthejourney 18th-Jul-2012 09:31 am (UTC)
i have never before been as tempted to make bread and butter pudding as i am now after seeing these pictures!
cakecrumbs 18th-Jul-2012 11:02 am (UTC)
Hehe, thanks. :) I like Matt Moran's picture of his version better though. :)
puppytraining 18th-Jul-2012 10:29 am (UTC)
Yum! I love bread & butter pudding - it's my Dad's favourite dessert and he requests it every birthday/Father's Day. I've seen a Nigella Lawson version with the bread part made from bread sandwiched together with ginger marmalade...haven't tried it but looks delish!
cakecrumbs 18th-Jul-2012 11:02 am (UTC)
That sounds really yummy!
kueken23 18th-Jul-2012 10:41 am (UTC)
I LOVE custard, so I would love to try this recipe!! But I don't really like butter... is the butter taste very prominent?
cakecrumbs 18th-Jul-2012 11:07 am (UTC)
It's only used to butter the slices, but is a very minimal amount. I couldn't taste it at all, but if you dislike it you could easily omit it. My boyfriend actually asked me at the time why it's even called bread and butter pudding if there's no butter taste in it haha.
kueken23 18th-Jul-2012 12:04 pm (UTC)
Haha, that's interesting ;-) was even thinking of substituting the butter with jam, might be nice!
eofs 18th-Jul-2012 11:06 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's called bread-and-butter pudding to distinguish it from bread pudding, which is a slightly different beast.
cakecrumbs 20th-Jul-2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Oh interesting. Cheers for the link.
eofs 21st-Jul-2012 12:12 am (UTC)
I knew there was a better answer to give, but alas it has been eluding me these past days. But now it's come to me.

Here in the UK, the simple entity of sliced bread, spread with butter, is known as bread and butter. As in, you might get items on a menu which say they come with "bread and butter" (not necessarily pre-spread of course). And this is a pudding constructed using slices of bread, spread with butter. Or in other words, a pudding made with bread and butter.
reseda_3067 18th-Jul-2012 10:52 am (UTC)
I have been looking for a GOOD recipe for bread and butter pudding, but the ones I've tried have turned out either dry or just bland. THIS looks creamy and crunchy. Just the way I want it.
If you can't get a hold of a vanilla pod, could you use vanilla sugar?
PS. I make Baked Alaska every now and then and you can use ice cream from out of the package. No need to make your own. lol!
cakecrumbs 18th-Jul-2012 11:12 am (UTC)
I always use vanilla bean paste because I thing the pods themselves are too expensive. You could sub in vanilla essence or extract. Not sure about vanilla sugar personally because I've never used it, but it would probably work. The flavour might be a bit duller than normal? Not sure.
reseda_3067 18th-Jul-2012 11:24 am (UTC)
Vanilla essence or extract? Not sure we have that over here in Sweden, though. I'll have to find out. Thanks! :)
cakecrumbs 18th-Jul-2012 11:32 am (UTC)
It's basically a liquid flavouring. It's usually macerated and percolated vanilla beans diluted with a little water and ethyl alcohol. It's very common in supermarkets in Aus ad I assume the US and UK as well, but no idea about Sweden.
speaktothevoid 19th-Jul-2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
If Sweden is anything like Holland in this, vanilla 'essence' isn't really vanilla at all, it's artificial vanillin. It'll do the job, but it doesn't taste exactly like the real thing. Not sure if that's a Dutch thing or a European thing, though.
cakecrumbs 18th-Jul-2012 11:39 am (UTC)
Oh, and I meant to say, regarding the ice cream -- I totally agree bought ice cream is fine to use. The only reason I had to skip that recipe was cause for the cook book challenge I'm doing the idea is to follow the recipe in the book.
reseda_3067 20th-Jul-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Aha. I see. That's pretty cool. Who are you doing the challenge with? Or do you just do it on your own?
bubblebubba 18th-Jul-2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
Absolutely fantastic! I've never bought storemade sourdough fruit bread before, but I'm keen to try this with a homemade loaf of some sort--possibly a cinnamon-swirl berry loaf if I can manage it. Thanks for this beautiful recipe! And not that I can't do conversions myself, but you wouldn't happen to have this recipe in cups and so forth, would you?
cakecrumbs 20th-Jul-2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Cinnamon swirls sounds like an awesome idea. Yum!

I don't have the recipe in cups, unfortunately. Whenever I write for the cook book challenge I write the recipe exactly how it is in the book so didn't do the conversions myself this time. Sorry!
eofs 18th-Jul-2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
Looks tasty. I like the idea of making bread-and-butter pudding with fruit bread, or even malt loaf (hmmm) instead of the traditional plain bread. But I think I would still want loose raisins in there as well, to get all plump and delicious.

I can also recommend making it with stale hot cross buns.
cakecrumbs 20th-Jul-2012 03:18 am (UTC)
That's an awesome idea. We don't often have hot cross buns so when we do there's never any leftovers haha. But will definitely keep that in mind should we have some to use up.
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toilandblood 19th-Jul-2012 08:23 am (UTC)
This looks really good.. what would you recommend for bread if I don't want to use sourdough or a type fruit bread?
eofs 19th-Jul-2012 10:23 am (UTC)
It's traditionally made with ordinary white sliced bread, but you can basically use whatever bread or breadish stuff you have on hand - croissants, hot crossed buns, French stick, panetone, anything. It exists to use up leftover stale bread and whatever else you have to hand, so it's pretty forgiving.

Normally you would include some dried fruit (raisins are traditional, but I see no reason you shouldn't put whatever you want and think will go nicely with it) - I guess it's been omitted here because of the fruit bread. But if you pick a plain bread, you'll want to scatter some amongst the slices.
toilandblood 25th-Jul-2012 04:34 am (UTC)
oh okay thank you!
cakecrumbs 20th-Jul-2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Can't add much that eofs hasn't already, but going by stories I've heard from other people about the potential sogginess of the pudding, I'd probably go for any dense bread. I imagine something with a loose crumb would become more readily soggy. As I've only baked this once, though, I am of course guessing.
toilandblood 28th-Jul-2012 03:37 am (UTC)
thanks for the tip :)
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rachelpage 15th-Jan-2015 01:29 am (UTC)
Oh wow! Those look amazing! And I love the photos too - beautifully shot!
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