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Bread and butter pudding

If you don't like bread and butter pudding, the chances are that you've never had one that's been made properly. This recipe should change your mind.


Butter a shallow oval baking dish, about 30 x 20cm.

Cut the bread into medium-thick slices, butter them, then cut the crusts off and halve the slices on the diagonal to form triangles.

Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon and add them to the pan with the empty pod. Bring just to the boil over a medium heat, then take off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, briefly whisk together the egg yolks and 150g of the sugar to combine. Pour in the hot milk and cream mix, including the vanilla, whisking all the time.

This is your custard!

Arrange the triangles of bread in the baking dish – in rows, propped up and leaning on each other so they come just proud of the dish, sprinkling the raisins in between.

Continue in this way until you've filled the dish and used all the bread, cutting the triangles up and tucking the pieces in as you need to.

Don't try to be neat – the point of layering like this is that the propped-up ends, which stand clear of the custard, turn golden and crispy in the oven.

Try not to leave too many raisins exposed, as they are liable to scorch during baking.

Now, pour over the custard, making sure you moisten all the pieces of bread. Let the pudding stand for 20 minutes or so, to allow the custard to soak in. Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and boil the kettle.

When you are ready to bake, sprinkle over the rest of the sugar.

Sit the dish in a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the dish (this bain-marie will help to keep the pudding soft.)

Bake for 20–30 minutes, until the custard is just set in the middle – prod the top with your finger to check.

Serve hot or warm, with cream or ice cream.


For a more indulgent treat you can swap the raisins for dark chocolate chips.

For a festive twist, swaps the raisins for dried cranberries and the zest of one orange.

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  • About 600g one or two-day-old white bread
  • About 50g unsalted butter
  • Softened 300ml double cream
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 6 medium free-range egg yolks
  • 200g caster sugar
  • A good handful of raisins

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Bread Handbook