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Easy Bread & Butter Pudding

Bread & Butter Pudding

Don’t waste bread left-overs – turn them into Easy Bread & Butter Pudding

I was over at my parents’ place yesterday, visiting them and my mum’s aunt who is staying with them at the moment. My mum had a stale loaf of French bread knocking about, so I volunteered to turn it into a Bread & Butter Pudding for them, knowing how much my dad and aunt love a traditional pud. This recipe isn’t terribly precise because I wasn’t measuring anything when I made it; the whole point of Bread & Butter Pudding is to use up left-over bread, so you’ll want to adapt it to how much bread you have and the size of the dish you make it in.

Easy Bread & Butter Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarters of a stale (but not mouldy!) French stick
  • about 50g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • About 1.5 pints whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • couple handfuls raisins/sultanas
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • scant grating nutmeg

Slice and butter the bread. Arrange the slices in an ovenproof dish that fits the slices snugly. In a bowl or large jug, beat the eggs then add the milk and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread; it should come nearly to the top of the bread slices, but not cover them – you may not need all the liquid at this stage. Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour while the liquid soaks into the bread. If you have any unused liquid remaining you can keep topping it up as it’s absorbed into the bread, but be sure to leave the tops of the slices sticking out – this way you’ll get a lovely soft, custardy underneath of the pudding, and a sweet, crunchy crust.

Heat the oven to 200C. Scatter the top of the pudding with the fruit, sugar and spices. Cook for around 25 – 35 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on how big your dish is). It’s done when the top is golden and crisp, and the centre is soufflé-like. Serve hot or warm on its own, or for extra indulgence with cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.

If you don’t have the spices you could grate some lemon or orange zest over the pudding instead.

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Devonshire Splits (Cream Buns)

Devonshire Splits, or Cream Buns

Devonshire Splits, a proper, old-fashioned tea-time treat!

My oldest living relative, great aunty Audrey, lives in Australia. She’s visiting the UK for a few months and staying with my mum for most of this trip. I haven’t seen her in about 20 years until this week but she’s hardly changed, is immense fun and a bit of a cheeky character. Apart from being the start of her visit, it was also her 87th Birthday, so naturally I felt the need to contribute to the celebrations in the form of some baking. She and my mum had been trying to order something they remembered from their childhood, what they called ‘Penny Buns’, from my mum’s local baker without success. I did a little online research, discovered that they were talking about Devonshire Splits and found a Nigel Slater recipe to recreate these yummy little cream buns that are filled with whipped cream and jam; a great variation on the scone for afternoon tea.

Devonshire Splits (or ‘Penny Buns’)

Ingredients:

  • 450g plain flour
  • half tsp salt
  • 14g dried easy-bake yeast
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • extra flour for kneading

Put the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. In a pan, warm the milk and butter until the butter is melted, then allow to cool slightly until it’s hand hot (you’re going to be getting your hands in there and you don’t want to burn yourself or have the mixture too hot to bear).

Pour most of the butter and milk mixture into the flour and mix to form a soft dough; if necessary add more of the milk until it all comes together. The dough should be soft and a little sticky (err on the side of too wet rather than too dry).

Once you’ve got a ball of dough, tip it out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until it feels slightly elastic (you can’t really knead it too much, but you can certainly knead it too little). Put it back in the bowl and cover loosely with clingfilm or a clean tea towel, leaving it to prove somewhere warm for about an hour.

After the proving time your dough should be roughly doubled in size. Turn out on to a floured surface and divide into 8-10 pieces that area all about the same size. Roll each one into a ball and place on a floured baking tray (I used two trays), leaving a little space between each ball. Cover with some lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to rise again for 10-15 minutes. During this time, heat your oven to 200C.

Remove the clingfilm and bake for 18-20 minutes until pale golden. You know they’re done if they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

To serve, cut a deep split and ease apart. Cram full of as much whipped cream and strawberry jam as you dare, and dust with a little icing sugar. A proper old-fashioned treat!

I’ve just discovered these little beauties won the Golden Spoon award this week from The Sunday Bake Club (thanks)! Take a look at their blog here.