bread and butter pudding recipe

bread and butter pudding recipe

Bread and Butter Pudding recipe

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Bread and butter pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding is surely the ultimate use of leftover bread!! While wonderful made with pre-sliced bread, it’s company-worthy made with chunks of bread, whether it’s a leftover loaf, dinner rolls or even hot dog buns(!)

A classic comfort dessert, custardy on the inside, golden and buttery on top. The only real question is this: what will you serve it with? Ice cream, cream, custard – or something else?


bread and butter pudding recipe
bread and butter pudding recipe


  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 whole large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 8 slices of day-old white crusty bread
  • 50g slightly salted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
  • 75g mix sultanas and currants or other dried fruit
  • zest ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

Best bread for bread and butter pudding

I think it’s better to use bread that hasn’t been pre-sliced because then you can cut or tear it into chunks so you get a better custardy texture inside and WAY better crunch on the surface — very appealing characteristics of a Bread and Butter Pudding that I deem company-worthy!

However, my recipe includes directions for the best way to layer pre-sliced bread as well.

As for what type of bread, it’s best to use a soft plain or sweet bread:

  • Plain white bread – sliced, unsliced, loaf, block, rolls, hot dog or hamburger buns
  • Raisin bread or other similar flavoured bread that will suit a sweet dessert
  • Buttery breads – like brioche and challah
  • Stale plain cake – I personally am not the type to leave leftover cake lying around until it becomes stale, but if you happen to, then by all means use it. Just be a bit more gentle when tossing in egg mixture
  • Bread that is TOO stale – slightly stale bread is ideal, but bread that’s so gone dry it crumbles into breadcrumbs when you crush it, or if it’s rock hard and you can’t tear it by hand, or so solid you can grate it into bread crumbs, it is no good. This is because once soaked in the egg mixture, it will disintegrate into breadcrumbs;
  • Very crusty and chewy artisan bread (like sourdough) – while it will work just fine, it will not be as soft and custardy. Mind you, the sourdough sold at grocery stores and everyday bakeries are not that crusty so will work fine, I am mostly referring to the more expensive (proper) sourdough;
  • Seeded and savoury flavoured breads – I’m not here to tell you how you should or should not flavour your bread and butter pudding, but I will say that using Cheese and Bacon Rolls might yield a somewhat odd result…
  • Heavy breads – Pumpernickel, dense ryes and the like …. obviously.

Today I’ve used a stale loaf of plain white cob bread that was intended for another recipe that never happened.


bread and butter pudding recipe
bread and butter pudding recipe


Preheat the oven to 180ºC bake.

Cut the crusts off the bread and cut each slice in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. Lay four bread triangles butter side down in a pie dish or small lasagne dish, approximately 20 x 20 cm. Sprinkle with half the currants and sultanas and repeat to form layers. Finish with a layer of bread with the butter side up.

Beat the eggs and Chelsea White Sugar together, then add the Meadow Fresh Original Milk and vanilla. Pour over the bread and butter and sprinkle the top with grated nutmeg.

Place the dish into a large roasting pan filled with water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pie dish. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and set. Dust with Chelsea Icing Sugar to serve.

Recipe Notes

1. Bread – Though the classic version is made with plain white bread, you can make this with any bread of choice – like raisin bread, hot cross buns, brioche, anything!

Artisan bread with very thick chewy crusts – eg. some types of sourdough: these can be used if they are fresh or a bit stale. Do not use if they are super stale and dried out – they will be rock hard (ie you can’t even tear them, you have saw through them with a serrated knife) so not suitable for this recipe.

Rye, seeded breads – they will work fine, I just don’t recommend using anything with too strong a flavour that might be at odds with the sweet vanilla flavour of this dish!

Gluten free – absolutely works, it just comes down to how good the GF bread is!

Measuring bread – See photo in post for what I mean by heaped cups. Basically stack bread in a cup so it’s heaped – imagine if you pressed down lightly, it would level the cup. Can’t provide a weight as breads differ in density. Don’t get hung up on exact measurement – you’ll easily be able to tell when you mix the bread and egg, should be soaked through, still some egg mixture pooling (slightly). The worst is using way too much bread that doesn’t get soaked through = dry pudding!

Pre-sliced bread: Also terrific made with PRE SLICED sandwich bread slices! Use 12 slices (thick cut) or 14 slices (normal thickness), cut in half into triangles then layer in the baking dish slightly overlapping (so surface isn’t flat), scatter each layer with sultanas, and pour egg mixture over the whole thing.

Slightly stale bread works a bit better because it doesn’t soak through instantly and turn into mush. If using super fresh bread, just be a bit more gentle when tossing into Egg Mixture (I use fresh regularly).

2. Cream – The basic Bread & Butter Pudding recipe is made with only milk. I like using cream to give this a bit of richness.

Just milk option: Add an extra egg (so 4 eggs in total) then use milk instead of cream (so 2 1/2 cups milk in total). You need the extra egg to ensure this sets because milk is not as thick as cream.

3. Sultanas have a tendency to brown a bit too much in this bake time. So while some on the surface is fine, you don’t want too many. So if lots end up on the surface, poke them in a bit!

4. WHAT I DO DIFFERENTLY (and why): Most classic recipes butter the bread slices before cutting / tearing and soaking. I prefer to add melted butter into the mixture for more even distribution and it’s just easier, and I like to brush the top with butter before and after baking, just for that extra buttery goodness! (Plus it makes it really nice and golden on top).
bread and butter pudding recipe
bread and butter pudding recipe

Also, while delicious made with sliced bread, I think it’s even better made with cut/torn loaf or rolls because you get a WAY better crunchy surface and the texture of the inside is better – more custardy (due to larger bread pieces), fluffier and can be cut with straight sides and stacked on plates so it sits tall and impressively (pictured in post).

5. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. If made using chunks of bread as per recipe, it will even keep the crunchy topping even if reheated in the microwave!

I haven’t tried freezing but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work given I freeze Cheese and Bacon Breakfast Strata (which is a savoury bread pudding).

6. Nutrition per serving assuming 8 servings, excluding toppings (because I cannot be held accountable for how much custard you pour over your pudding!). If you include a scoop of ice cream, there’s enough for 8 sensible servings.

How to Store and Reheat

  • Bread and butter pudding reheats well covered with aluminum foil in a hot oven. It’s also delicious cold, cut into large wedges.
  • It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days but is best eaten within two days. To prevent it from drying out, cover it tightly with plastic wrap.
  • You can also freeze baked bread and butter pudding for up to three months. Let it cool completely and wrap it tightly in multiple layers of foil and seal in a freezer bag to trap the moisture.


What’s the Difference Between Bread and Butter Pudding and Bread Pudding?

There are many bread pudding recipes. Though they’re all a little different, the egg custard and cinnamon-nutmeg spices are common. Bread and butter pudding is popular in the United Kingdom and you will find recipes in the United States that are nearly identical.

The primary differences are that British recipes butter the bread before it’s soaked in the custard, include raisins or sultanas, and typically don’t cover the dessert in a sweet sauce when serving. Many other bread pudding recipes use cubed bread rather than larger pieces. However, none of these elements is exclusive to the U.K.’s bread and butter pudding.



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