Monday, 18 May 2009

A recipe passed down the generations - Bread Pudding.

My family is originally from East London and there are two recipes that have been passed down through the years, from my Grandfather to my Mother, and now on to me that are almost as representative of East London's culinary tradition as Pie and Mash. One is Egg and Bacon Pie (Perhaps, more of a quiche - it's fantastic whatever its called), the other is Bread Pudding.

I'll be making (and blogging) Egg and Bacon Pie later this week. Let's talk about Bread Pudding. It's a brilliant recipe that appears to have been born of wartime austerity - it uses up stale bread, and like many old recipes it's evolved over time so much so that if you google it, you'll find loads of recipes with slightly different variations on the same theme.

A quick note before I give you the recipe, some of the measurements are a bit 'hit and miss' - that's the way these recipes come, don't worry too much about say, the exact measurement of flour etc, this is rough and ready cooking, the recipe is robust - have faith - it survived the Blitz! I've added my own little tweak by macerating the sultanas in Brandy, feel free to omit this or add something else....I was thinking Cointreau might be nice.

Here's the family recipe....

Bread Pudding

Makes about 10 very generous slices.
You'll Need:-

Half a Loaf of Bread (preferably stale)
3/4 of a Mug - Self Raising Flour
4 Tbs Marmalade
9 Tbs Sugar (Plus extra for sprinkling)
50 Gram Butter - plus extra for greasing, and dotting on top.
2 Eggs
300g Sultanas (Optionally soaked in 3 Tbs of Brandy).
1 Heaped Tbs Mixed Spice
Tin Foil.

Rip the loaf into small pieces into a mixing bowl, and fill with water to cover. Leave to soak for about 1hr.
(If Soaking the Sultanas in Brandy, or perhaps something else - now would be the time to do it).

When ready, strain your bread in a Colander, pushing and squeezing the water out, put back into the mixing bowl and add the flour, Marmalade, Sugar, Butter and the two Eggs. Mix together, then stir in the Sultanas and the mixed spice.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 5cm deep Dish, rough dimensions 20cm x 25cm.
Dab butter on top, cover with foil, put into an oven pre-heated to 180C. and Bake for 1hr 15 Min's. Remove the foil, and then cook for another 15Min's to brown the top.
Test if done, by inserting a skewer or knife into middle, if it comes out clean it's done. Finally, sprinkle some Sugar over top.
Bread Pudding tastes best barely warm or cold, so you need to leave it to cool down a bit before tucking in.


Foodie said...

Looks good Dan. I hate sloppy B&B puds but this one looks lovely and stodgy.

Thanks for sharing this family recipe. Still no joy with the pastry one from my camp!

I see some chopped dry figs in here - would gramps have approved?

The Ample Cook said...

I can see we're going to have a 'bread pudding off' as MY bread pudding is best ;o)

Looks lovely Dan.

fran39 said...

Lovely recipe Dan. And can't wait for the bacon and egg pie!

Dan said...

Foodie - chopped dry figs, yep - I reckon that would work well.

Jan - hahaha - a bread pudding-off - a challenge eh?

Fran - Thanks. Egg+Bacon pie has been cooked, photographed and consumed. Just need to errr...write it up.

fran39 said...

Egg and bacon pie NOW!!

Dan said...

Cor that looks lovely, will definitely have a bash at making this.

Mara said...

That looks delicious!! congrats for your blog!!!.. can't wait for that quiche you mentioned,big kiss.. Muack!

Anonymous said...

This looks like my kind of cake. Can imagine it being just the thing at around 4 o clock with loads of cream and a nice cup of builders tea....

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Finally - a man who understands! So many people, when I mention bread pudding, say 'oh, you mean bread-and-butter pudding?' No, I mean bread pudding. Thank you, Dan.

BTW, your version looks a bit light-coloured (tho' very tasty, nonetheless!). Are you missing a key ingredient?

Dan said...

Hi aforkfulofspaghetti,
The light colour? - I thought exactly the same thing. I put it down to either the bread I used, or not cooking it long enough. My Mums bread pudding is normally darker, and more 'dense'. It tasted the exactly the same, and is the same recipe as my Mums. So, I'm pretty sure an ingredient isn't missing.

Alex said...

How lovely to have to have a heritage recipe like this!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Probably just the bread, then, Dan.

Anonymous said...

if you use dark sugar and brown bread it comes out a lovely dark colour.


Brilliant,I remember my grandmother giving us when we visit her in Walthamstow.

Anonymous said...

try using dark brown soft sugar.