I don’t make many puddings. Not because I can’t, but for three reasons. Firstly, my oven is rubbish; it’s a temperamental cheap (and very temporary) gas oven that can only function semi-correctly on one exact shelf position….and even that manages to destroy anything that’s ever so slightly delicate! All things cakelike, flannish, or puddingy are baked at my own risk and generally come out with a black burnt crisp on their bottom. Obviously we’re hoping to replace the damned thing with a super-duper all singing all dancing electric oven in the very near future. The other reason is simply time! I tend to focus my spare minutes on filling tummies with main courses, and rarely have the luxury of time to put a pud together too. Reason number three is that neither of my children have particularly sweet tooths and puddings are generally left to the consumption of Philipe and I, and neither of us truthfully need those extra calories!
Bread & butter pudding however ticks all the above problem boxes! Being quick to cook it never burns it’s bum too badly, is incredibly quick to put together and isn’t too sweet to put the kids off. And it resolves another problem we have at Chez Foti ….. what to do with all our leftover bread. Today being a Sunday I had a few free minutes and made my pud using just some stale bread, but I often bung in old croissants (wonderfully rich), brioche (even more wonderfully rich) or pain au chocolat (sublime) ….. or more often than not a mixture of all of these! If you do use these richer breads omit the butter as they already contain a heart stopping amount.
If I do go to the trouble of making a pud, I tend to make a large one so there’s plenty of leftovers for the next day.
Enough for 6
150g leftover bread, croissants, brioche or pain au chocolat – in slices (you need enough to make up 2 layers of your dish)
butter – enough to butter the bread and grease your dish
50g raisins or sultanas
400ml whole milk
50g golden caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling on the top
a little nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 180°C/355°F/Gas 4.
Butter your bread and lay half the slices in a buttered overproof dish, filling in all gaps like a jigsaw to make a complete layer. Scatter over the raisins or sultanas. Add another layer of bread.
In a large jug or a bowl whisk the eggs lightly and then whisk in the milk and sugar. When combined pour evenly over the bread.
Grate a little nutmeg and sprinkle a fine layer of sugar over the top.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the custard has set and the top is a lovely golden brown.
Serve immediately with lashings of custard.