Whether white or brown, ordinary sliced or specialty, bread is a staple in most households. It is cheap, versatile, filling and easy to use. You can buy it or make your own, either by hand or with a bread machine.
Some breads keep better than others but what they all have in common is that, after a while, they become stale.
Luckily, either by choice or by obligation, frugal people have been around for a very long time (in this case, since the 11th century) and they came up this simple but delicious solution: the bread pudding.
Over the years, I have tried many a recipe and, after a lot of testing (and of course tasting) and tweaking, I have come up with this one.
- 500g stale bread cut into largish chunks
- 160g soft brown sugar
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 200g currants & raisins (I use dried mixed fruit or sometimes cranberries or or mix of both)
- 300ml milk
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- Cold water
Preheat oven 180’C/Gas mark 4
Put the bread in a bowl, add the cold water and soak for at least 1 hour
Allow to soak for 1 hour
When the bread is soft, gently squeeze the excess water with your hands
Add all the other ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon (don’t be tempted to use a mixer or you’ll end up with mush)
Pour into a greased oven-proof dish
Cook for 1 and 1/2 hour (the top should be golden brown and quite firm to the touch)
Allow to cool before cutting