In pursuit…

…of the perfect Bread Pudding…

I was inspired by Gill’s baking the other day. Happy childhood memories of wodges of fragrant fruitiness have emerged from time to time over the years. I did have the family recipe in my keeping for long enough, and my own children enjoyed our traditional bake on many occasions. Hot with custard, cold with a mug of tea… great portable food for picnics… cheap, cheerful and no doubt less than perfect nutrition, but relatively low in fat and refined sugars.

That recipe, very unlike Gill’s, is long lost. I have tried to unearth something similar from the Internet on several occasions without luck.  I knew that mine had the bread soaked in cold tea and that suet was involved. Could I find one like that? No. This week? Bingo! I found this recipe here

I think you mean baked bread pudding, and not bread and butter pudding, which is what some of the others have given you, and is completely different altogether. Here’s a receipe I have often used…

Ingredients

1 small loaf, white or brown, a few days old, but not mouldy!
1/2 pint of cold tea (no milk or sugar!)
4 oz sultanas
4 oz raisins
4 oz currants
2 oz mixed peel (optional)
2oz shredded suet (vegetarian if you prefer)
1 teaspoonful of mixed spice
1/2 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg
2 eggs beaten
2 oz demerara sugar (you can use granulated or caster if you don’t have any)
A little milk to mix if needed

Method

Preheat the oven at Gas mk 4, 180c or 350f
Grease and line a dish, preferably square, which will take about 1 1/2 pints, you can always use a small roasting tin, a cake tin, or a pie dish, whatever’s handy.

Remove the crust from the bread, chop up roughly into squares, no need to be exact, and put into a mixing bowl together with the cold tea, and leave to soak for about 1/2 an hour. When the bread has soaked up all of the tea, beat out any lumps, and then add the fruit, peel, suet, sugar and spices. Mix together well, and add the eggs. If the mixture is a little dry, add some milk to make a dropping consistency.
Pour into the baking dish, making sure, if you have a square tin to push the mixture into the corners. Put into the oven and bake for around 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

When cooked (check by inserting a knife into the centre. If it comes out clean, it’s done) dredge with white sugar. Cut into squares and serve either warm or cold, whichever you prefer.

 

[NOTE: I baked mine for one hour and ten minutes, and this was long enough to burn all the fruit on the top of the pud.]

Hmm… as far as I can recall, that’s spot on.

I bought a loaf of bread (yes, really, especially to do this) and I made a pot of tea. Patience did not come into it, so the bread was far too fresh and the tea was hot, not cold. I wanted a slice of that pudding asap!

It was a tactical error – the consistency is not quite as it should be, but the flavour is very much what I remember. It’s just all a little doughier than a perfect bread pud should be. You can see in the photograph where the tea did not soak into the bread because the bread was just too fresh.

Bread Pud (Beth v1.0)

However…

…I am not sure that it passes muster any longer. It doesn’t really suit my more sophisticated adult palate.

I am going to have another go at this recipe, but tweak it somewhat and nudge it into a more refined afternoon tea treat. I shall report back when the pinnacle is reached.

Speaking of Afternoon Tea – the shawl is all but finished. I have two knit rows to do, plus a picot cast off. We shall have a Finished Object by tea time today.

My plan was to return to the Narcissus socks after completing Afternoon Tea. However, Gill has been nudging me towards a UFO from my bottomless heap. We dug out my Frosted Ferns doily last night and we moved it onto a circular needle (I had sat on the (then brand-new) DPNs a long time ago and rendered them unfit for service.) It is sitting beside me on my desk now, bristlin with accusation.

Gill’s suggestion was that I crack on and race her to a finish. Now, I appear to be at Round 45 of 121. She however, has only a handful of rounds to go (you should see her doily – it has recently been growing amazingly quickly.) Clearly, if I am to even approach a finish line with her, I need to neglect the socks. The sock though are very pretty and soft and easy-going. They call to me.

It remains to be seen which piece of knitting leaps into my hands this evening. I wouldn’t be prepared to take bets on it at this stage.

Oh, go on, you know, don’t you? We seem to be on an afternoon tea theme, it may as well be doily time 🙂 Must see if I can find a Frosted Ferns chart from somewhere.

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3 Responses to “In pursuit…”

  1. SpinningGill 18th March 2012 at 11:56 am #

    I’m currently on round 101 of 111. I have to work out a suitably loose cast off though. 🙂

    • Beth 18th March 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      So,let me see. I only have to effect approximately seven rows for your every one, in order to catch up?

      I’m not that fast a knitter!

    • Beth 18th March 2012 at 12:28 pm #

      You could do a crochet edge or a picot edge, or do a knitted-on lace edging ?

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