Bread and Butter Pudding

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

Good to the Grain

By Kim Boyce

Published 2010

  • About

This is a simple dish created from leftover or stale pieces of bread that are baked in a rich custard. The dessert (or breakfast dish) gets added flavor if you use homemade Baguettes, but you can use any purchased baguette or even combine bits of stray bread that you might have on hand. This recipe calls for a larger amount of bread than custard, because I love the way that the bread on the top crisps and browns, contrasting with the soft, sweet interior of what’s beneath.

Butter for the dish

Ingredients

  • 1 store-bought sourdough, French, or whole-wheat baguette, or ½ recipe (2 small baguettes) of Baguettes
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • cups heavy cream
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges (no more than ½ cup juice)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, finely cubed

Method

  1. Slice the baguette(s) in half lengthwise, then into long strips, and lastly into small pieces about 1 inch in size. You should have about 8 cups of bread. Spread the bread onto a baking sheet. Position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Place the baking sheet in the oven and turn the oven to 350°F. (The bread needs a little toast so it doesn’t turn into mush while baking in the custard.) Toast for about 12 minutes while the oven is warming up, until the bread is mostly dry and crunchy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, milk, and cream in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined—a whisk works just fine here, but if you have an immersion blender, use that for a quick, smooth blend.
  4. Strain the custard into a large bowl. Add the orange zest, juice, sugar, nutmeg, salt, currants, and butter, and stir to combine. Once the bread is cool, add it to the custard. Let the bread and custard soak for 10 minutes, stirring a few times so that the custard is absorbed evenly.
  5. Butter a deep 10-inch baking dish or Dutch oven and pour the bread and custard into it. Arrange the bread that sits above the custard in a rustic fashion, spooning the currants that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl across the top of the bread and into the pockets that form on the top.
  6. Bake for 1½ hours. After about 1 hour, the tips of the bread will be quite dark, just shy of burning, while the custard will not yet be set. To keep the bread from burning, lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the pudding dish. Bake until the pudding has puffed up. Allow it to cool in its pan on top of the stove.
  7. The pudding is best served warm or at room temperature the same day it was made. Any leftovers can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for 3 days.