Saturday, 24 October 2009

Bread and Butter Pudding

It is about time that I cover yet another culinary item that is unique to the UK. Bread and butter pudding happens to feature quite prominently in British cuisine, and I suspect that is due to the ease at which you can dispose of large amounts of stale bread at a go when making it. It appears quite commonly and is thus associated with catered school lunches. The structure of this warm dessert is simple: layers of buttered bread with raisins in between, with the entire assembly lathered in custard and powdered with sugar for glazing, before being put into the oven.

Both the Basics custard and dried mixed fruit are completely new to me, although I remember that I had a hall mate in my fresher year who used the latter to supplement the Basics cornflakes that she had. The dried mixed fruit is actually more commonly used in Christmas puddings or stollen, but I've used it here instead of raisins to have a bit more variety. Overall, both items taste alright, and would be good when preparing dessert for a large number of people, where ingredient quality is not a high priority.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the Basics white bread, not pictured. Like its wholewheat counterpart, it tends to disintegrate too easily, probably indicative of how dry the bread is. You are probably better off getting either the Basics wholewheat bread, which is much more durable, or a more expensive brand of white.

So start as follows: Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease your pan with butter, and slice your bread slices into triangles.

Butter your slices. If using Basics white bread, take extra care when spreading, to avoid disintegrating the bread. Once this is done, lay down the first layer of bread.

Sprinkle the layer of dried mixed fruit before laying on the second layer of bread.

Ensure that custard can is lukewarm. This is to ensure that the bread does not harden when soaking in the custard. Open custard can, and pour contents all over the bread and fruit assembly.

Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar for the glazing, and then bake for another 30 minutes.
End result should be as below. Since it's the custard that gives most of the flavour, this recipe is mostly failsafe.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Custard£0.25 (£0.63 / kg)396g+£0.60 for 1 kg (+£0.22 / kg)Possibly thicker, richer custard
Dried mixed fruit£0.65500g+£0.73Avoids using palm oil for glazing. Note: 4% less vine fruit content

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