Bread and butter pudding is made by soaking buttered stale bread in custard and then baked till the custard is set. This English classic dessert, though made from simple ingredients, takes bread to the next level. It is one of the good old desserts that never fail to please my palate. For most people, the whole idea of making this pudding is to “salvage” the stale bread that is nearly going into the bin. But I love this pudding so much that I purposely “created” stale bread to make this dessert.
My ideal bread and butter pudding must have beautiful crusty top with soft and moist custard inside. Although this pudding requires little effort, it takes time and patient to make. You need to allow 30 minutes for the custard to be fully absorbed into the bread before popping it into the oven.
One interesting point is that this pudding will be baked using water bath/ bain marie. The baking dish holding the pudding is placed onto a larger pan which is filled with hot water. This technique helps to cook the pudding with more uniform heat as well as prevent it from drying.
When choosing bread, the common types used for this dessert are white bread, wholemeal bread, croissant, brioche and panettone. Stale bread (ie 2 days old) is often preferred over fresh bread as the latter will make your pudding soggy. The thickness of the bread also plays an important role if you do not wish to see your pudding to collapse and shrink after baking. I learned this tip after making mistake to use pre-sliced bread with a thickness of 1cm. My hubby would giggle every time he saw my ugly looking pudding. Nevertheless, he still gobbled up all of them happily as they tasted delicious.
I found that most bread and butter pudding recipes don’t match my personal requirement. They are either called for a square or rectangle baking dish or made large quantities which usually serve 6-8 persons. Thus, with my own concoction, I came out with a recipe that does not only yield a smaller portion serving 2-3 persons but also fits well into an oval shaped baking dish.
My son and I had a great time making this pudding. In fact, he did most of the steps. So happened on that day my sister came for a visit. As I know, she never likes bread and butter pudding as the ones she tried before were mushy. Much to my surprise, she loved my version a lot!! She even brought some home. Later that day, she called to say that her family including her maid liked it very much. This made my son very happy and proud of his “baking skill”! He kept reminding me to post this recipe up as soon as possible so his aunt can make this delicious pudding for her family too.
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