- Food and Cooking
Bread And Butter Pudding, Simple Plus Variations
Bread And Butter Pudding: A Great Dessert
Bread and butter pudding is one of the easiest but tastiest puddings I know. It's a simple recipe for children to make, it's a great pudding for everyone to eat.
You can make the simple version, you can dress it up a bit, go for a luxury bread and butter pudding for a dinner party. Easy to make, perfect for cooking with the kids.
If you like quiches or ham 'n ' eggs, have a look at the recipe for a savoury bread and butter pudding - a great lunch or supper on a cold night.
So What's In A Bread And Butter Pudding?
At its simplest - day old bread, butter, milk, eggs, sugar. They're the basics and you can use slightly older eggs if it's just a quick dessert for a family meal. Nothing there for fussy eaters (or children as the experts call 'em) to object to.
Getting more adventurous, cinnamon, nutmeg, sultanas, raisins, vanilla. Dark chocolate, white chocolate, rum, cranberries (though not all at once).
Glamming it up, reach for the cognac.
After you've made it once, add anything you and the family like. Loads of things go with the basic ingredients, or just eat the simple version -- either way you're guaranteed no leftovers!
Basic Bread And Butter Pudding
40g/1.5oz butter, allowed to soften to room temperature
10 thin slices white bread, day old, crusts removed
450ml/16fl oz whole milk
3 large eggs
35g/1.5oz granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4
- Use small amount of butter to lightly grease a 2 pint pie dish
- Spread bread with remaining butter, cut into triangles
- In a bowl, lightly beat eggs and add milk
- Add sugar to egg mixture and stir
- Using half the bread, arrange a layer of triangles in the pie dish and pour over half the egg mixture
- Add a second layer of bread triangles and pour on the rest of the egg mixture
- Bake for 30 minutes on middle oven shelf, or until the custard has set and the top is golden brown
Good basic kitchenware
One of the great makers of kitchenware: a nice large dish that will go from oven to table
Go on, treat yourself and don't feel guilty as it's practical as well as pretty
Perfect For Children To Make
Parents are probably ahead of me here - the basic pudding is ideal to make with small kids. Plastic utensils will do, no sharp knives needed, no electrical equipment, no hot pans, simple steps that kids can handle - wait for that frown of concentration and the tongue sticking out of the corner of the mouth as they butter the bread and arrange it in the bowl.
It's also good as it can't go wrong - unless you burn it or add the cat by mistake, it's one of the few guaranteed recipes I know.
Machine washable, pack of cheap and cheerful aprons for the kids
One for the young professional chef in the making
Ring the bread and butter pudding variations
Add a couple of drops of vanilla essence to the egg/milk mixture.
Throw a few sultanas over each layer of bread, or raisins (nice big juicy California raisins).
Try a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg in the egg/milk mixture.
Substitute a bit of cream for a bit of the milk.
Grate some nutmeg over the top before baking (my favourite simple variation).
Sprinkle some demerara sugar over the top before baking.
Use stale pannetone or croissants instead of white bread.
You can use wholemeal bread but it rather overpowers the simple recipe.
Gluten-Free Bread Pudding
A friend of mine who's wheat-intolerant has recommended Gluten-free bread and butter pudding. I've made other recipes from this site for guests - sitemaster has a great tone (it's one of those cookery sites you can read for pleasure) and I've never found a duff recipe yet.
Violinist Vanessa Mae's last supper would be onion tart, moussaka and bread and butter pudding.
Bread And Butter Pudding: Serving Suggestions
Bread and butter pudding is good by itself straight from the oven, or you can try a pouring of single or double cream. I like a dollop of good vanilla ice cream with mine, I love the warm/cold mix.
I even once experimented and flambéed a posh version with brandy -- not sure it helped the flavour but it got a round of applause from the dinner guests.
If you want to throw the diet out of the window, try bread and butter pudding with toffee sauce:
75g/2oz dark brown sugar
100ml /3fl oz double cream
Melt butter and suger in a thick-bottomed pan over a low heat, cook for about four minutes. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the cream. Serve immediately. I prefer unsalted butter but it's a matter of taste.
Getting Fancier: More Bread And Butter Pudding Variations
Chocolate, rum, whisky, dinner party variations
An easy way to make this taste even better is to improve the custard part of the dish. Put 12 fl ozs milk and 4 fl ozs cream into a pan with a vanilla pod (sliced and seeds scraped off and into the pan), bring to a gentle boil and simmer for five minutes. Allow to cool until lukewarm. Beat eggs and sugar until light, then pour over the cooled milk/cream after straining it.
Delia Smith has a great recipe using dark chocolate and rum Still simple but tastes incredible. Not one for the kids though!
James Martin also likes chocolate and alcohol: his recipe uses white chocolate and whiskey
An exotic variation from Manju Malhi (this one is gorgeous): bread and butter pud with papaya and saffron
The Microwave Association recommends, yes, a microwaved version Not tried this but it looks promising.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a banana and chocolate bread and butter pudding. Works well without the chocolate also.
One I haven't made but the author has a lot of good recipes: BP with rum-soaked raisins and apple, served with a vanilla sauce.
And a recipe I've just come across but not tried yet, Bread and Butter Pudding with Whiskey Crème Anglaise
Gordon Ramsay's Bread And Butter Pudding
Gordon Ramsay: love him or loathe him, he began his career by being a great chef and my sister's annual treat is to one of his London restaurants, purely for the bread and butter pudding. His recipe uses baguettes laced with Baileys liqueur. Sadly he protects his copyright savagely so I can't legally point you to the restaurant recipe. Worth experimenting though.
Great dinner party food for people who aren't great chefs
Savoury Bread And Butter Pudding
A savoury variation for brunch and lunch
A great variation for a winter supper or even a brunch, and a great change from the standard quiche. Serve with whatever green salad leaves are in season and a few tomatoes. This is Simon Rimmer's recipe, first published on the BBC website. For more recipes, including vegetarian, see ifood's Savoury Bread And Butter Pudding Recipes.
75g/2.5oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1 loaf thick-sliced white bread, crusts removed
200g/7oz thick-cut ham, cut into chunks
250g/9oz mature cheddar, grated
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 free-range eggs, plus 3 free-range egg yolks
500ml/18fl oz double cream
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- Grease a large ovenproof dish with butter
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until softened
- Meanwhile, butter the slices of bread
- Layer, half of the buttered bread, onion, ham, cheese, parsley and peas into the dish, then repeat with the remaining ingredients. Reserve a little cheese to sprinkle over the top
- Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl until well combined
- Heat the cream in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour onto the egg mixture and whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread and set aside for at least 30 minutes
- Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until golden-brown on top
There's a dish called a strata which is a sort of savoury bread and butter pudding: layers of custardy bread, bacon/spinach, cheese, repeated three times. See Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's strata recipe in the Guardian.. Worth a look, apart from the taste, as it's one you make the day before and refrigerate overnight - just bring to room temperature then throw it into the oven when you're ready.
Christmas Bread And Butter Pudding
A great range, from mincemeaty for all the family to whisky-drenched for the grownups.
- BBC - Food - Recipes : Christmas bread and butter pudding
Use up leftover mincemeat with Simon Rimmer's Christmassy bread and butter pudding.
- BBC - Radio 2 - Chris Evans - Nigel's Recipes
Marguerite Patten's recipe: a more complicated pudding but it's a lovely recipe and it's made in the microwave.
- Christmas bread and butter pudding: Recipes: Good Food Channel
Diana Henry turns this traditional 17th century peasant pudding into a luxurious Christmas dessert with the addition of a few winter warming ingredients and a slug of whisky
- Redirect Notice
Food Network invites you to try this Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding recipe from Jamie Oliver.
The Blessed Delia
If you're new to puddings, indeed to cooking, English cook and author Delia Smith has some of the best books around. She isn't a "cheffy chef", her recipes are easy to follow and almost guarantee great results. In the book highlighted here, she covers puddings and much, much more. This is the most thumbed, most food-splashed book in my kitchen.