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Easy Stale Bread Recipes - Recipe for Bread and Butter Pudding

Updated on December 1, 2014
Celebration bread pudding
Celebration bread pudding | Source

Where is Limousin?

Limousin, France

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Limousin is in south west France. Often called 'hidden France' because it's one of the less well known areas, well off the beaten tourist track.

Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

Saving the world or saving your money?

Whether you're saving the world or saving your money you will just adore this frugal but delicious bread pudding, (or, as we used to call it bread and butter pudding). This is one of the best know and most traditional of stale bread recipes. Transform your old bread into a delicious dessert with this budget-friendly frugal recipe. All you need in addition to your stale bread is a couple of eggs, milk, butter, dried fruit, a pinch of spice and a bit of sugar.

Frugal food but gourmet food

Frugal it might be but this is no second-rate pud. I've been served this kitchen basic as part of the Christmas dinner menu in a very respectable restaurant just outside Exeter, UK. It had a festive touch, a splash of whisky (this version would be perfect for a Burns supper on Burns Night - 25 January).

I've transformed the basic recipe into the Limousin equivalent by adding apple and Pineau - a local Charente fortified wine. Heaven!

Lots more ways to reduce food waste and reduce household bills by using your old bread in new ways: Stale Bread Recipes

Eight good reasons to use up your stale bread

  1. You can make delicious dishes
  2. You save money
  3. You have a clear conscience when you don't waste food
  4. You don't contribute to land fill
  5. You save the public costs of dealing with waste
  6. You teach your children to value food
  7. You learn many tried and tested traditional recipes (they didn't throw away good food in the past!)
  8. You join the new trendy chefs like Heston

Ingredients for bread and butter pudding
Ingredients for bread and butter pudding | Source


Basic Ingredients

  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 8 slices bread*
  • 100g / 4oz mixed dried fruit (or any dried fruit to hand)
  • 50g / 2 oz sugar
  • 600ml / 1 pint milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • Grated nutmeg and sugar to sprinkle over top

Celebration and Limousin twist Ingredients

  • Add a nip of something nice. Whisky is traditional, but I use Pineau, a local fortified wine, calvados or armagnac (anything really!)
  • Add a handful of diced apples. Dessert will be sweet and cooking apples will give a snatch
  • Add colour with glacé cherries
  • Vary the spices - cinnamon is nice and cloves gives a Christmassy feel to the pud

* Traditionally white bread was used and the crusts were taken off, however I see no reason why brown or wholemeal bread should not be used, and if you keep the crusts on then they are just a little crunchy/chewy. If you decide to cut off the crusts, make sure that you use them. (See Amanda Severn's comment below)

Frugal Tip: How to use the crusts!

  • Give them to children. If they don't like crusts, tell them not to eat them - then they will almost certainly try to steal them
  • Grill them until crunchy and tell children they are bread-chips
  • Dry and whizz to make breadcrumbs.
  • Toast and use with dips or dice to make croutons for soup 'n salads

Prepare your dish
Prepare your dish | Source


  • Soak the fruit in a little milk or the wine or spirits until plump
  • Cut the bread into slices and butter
  • Place a layer of buttered bread into a 1.5 litre oven proof dish greased with a little butter
  • Sprinkle with some of the fruit and continue to make layers until the bread and fruit are used up
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs, spices and sugar, pour evenly over the bread and wait for ten or fifteen minutes for the liquid to soak in.
  • Sprinkle with grated nutmeg
  • Bake at 180°C, gas 4 or 350°F for about an hour until the centre is just firm to the touch
  • Sprinkle with a little sugar

Sprinkle with sugar
Sprinkle with sugar | Source
Sweets for my sweet, Sugar for my honey .... Sugared flowers are edible treats
Sweets for my sweet, Sugar for my honey .... Sugared flowers are edible treats | Source

To serve your bread and butter pudding

Serve with hot or cold custard, creme fraiche, cream or ice cream. At Christmas you could serve it with rum or brandy butter or rum sauce. In the image at the top of the page, I've decorated it with sugared flowers which are edible and add a certain talking point to the dish.

Sugared Flower Recipe


If anyone has any other variations, do please leave your ideas in the comments box below. I think adding ginger, either powdered, crystallized or freshly chopped / grated would be gorgeous, and grated lemon or orange rind is superb.

See more of our life at Les Trois Chenes: Bed and Breakfast, self-catering holiday cottage and painting holidays in Videix, Limousin, S W France


PS I'm working on a chocolate version of the above, but haven't quite got there yet.

UPDATE: Bread and Butter Pudding is in the news! Apparently celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal opened a new restaurant called 'Dinner' near Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, London this week focused on the revival and modernisation of British recipes and Bread and Butter pud features on Woman's Hour BBC Radio 4. A rather rich and high cal version, but for a low calorie but still delicious pudding I recommend that you use half-fat or skimmed milk and go easy on the butter - it'll still work out well. For topping use no-fat yoghurt or custard made with skimmed milk.

Spicy winter fruit pudding for Christmas. a winter version of summer pudding
Spicy winter fruit pudding for Christmas. a winter version of summer pudding | Source

Nigel Slater loves bread and butter pudding

Goodness, who would have thought that bread and butter pudding would ever be so topical? Slater, top uk celebrity chef, waxes lyrical about childhood servings of bread and butter pudding in his new autobiography, Toast.

I'd have loved to quote you a passage but have been warned about copyright, which is a shame because his evocative memories are deliciously warm and comforting. You'll just have to take my word for it and buy the book.

Of course toast is the most basic of ways to use up stale bread!

© 2011 Les Trois Chenes


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