To serve four you will need:
- 3 oz, 75 g, of butter or margarine.
- 6 large, thick, slices of white bread.
- 4 oz, 110 g, of dried fruit, either sultanas, or if you prefer their flavour, half the amount in currants and the rest as above.
- 2 oz, 50 g, 2 rounded tbsps, of soft, dark brown sugar.
- 3 medium sized eggs.
- 1 pt, 570 ml of full fat milk.
- a few drops of vanilla essence, optional.
- a little extra butter or margarine to grease the dish.
- Pre-heat the oven to warm, Gas Mark 3, 325 f, 170 c, 150 fan.
- Grease a deep sided two pint, or one litre, oven proof casserole dish, preferably one with handles for extra safety, when lifting the dish into and out of the oven.
- First, cut off or pull away the crusts from the slices of bread. A good way to do this easily without using a knife is to hold each slice by a corner, a little way down from the edge, pinching the crust between the first finger and thumb of one hand, and peel it back, positioning the fingers and thumb of your other hand just below, to support the bread, so that they are monitoring your progress, thus preventing too much bread coming away with the crust. The rougher textured strip should peel away quite easily.
- Now, butter the bread well and break three slices of it into small evenly sized pieces and lay half of it in the dish, butter side up so that you line the base first, then gently press the bread on to the sides as well but don’t let the pieces overlap.
- Spread the dried fruit evenly over the bread in the bottom of the dish.
- Next sprinkle over half the sugar.
- Now break up and add the rest of the bread, buttered side up, so that you cover the dried fruit mixture.
- Break each egg separately into a small bowl to make sure that it is fresh, before transferring each one, into a large jug.
- Add the vanilla essence and milk, then beat well.
- Now pour this mixture into the dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top, and leave it to stand for at least half an hour in a cool place, this is to allow the bread to soak up some of the egg and milk and begin to absorb the flavour of the vanilla essence, sugar and fruit.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pudding is set, and slightly crispy on top, but still soft when you test it with a fork.
- Before you do this, Lift the dish out of the oven carefully, putting it safely onto a heat resistant worktop, Remember the egg custard is going to be very hot, so please be careful when you test it.
Bread and butter pudding used to be served on a Sunday after a traditional dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pud.
If you don’t fancy trying this, why not choose one of the other two main traditional alternatives, rice pudding, or home made apple pie.