Traditional Bread and Butter Pudding

Traditional bread and butter pudding in a white pan.
Traditional bread and butter pudding

The best old fashioned bread and butter pudding recipe is by Mrs Beeton, and has been around since at least 1861.

Interestingly, Mrs Beeton’s cookery book has no less than 6 recipes for bread pudding. But it is her recipe for baked bread and butter pudding that is the best! There is a reason it has endured as the best recipe for bread and butter pudding for over a century.

This simple recipe is quick and easy to make, and requires only standard type ingredients you would likely find in any kitchen.

Ingredients

  • Thin slices of bread and butter – clearly an essential ingredient of the recipe, however there are many substitutions you can make see section below for some suggested variations.
  • Milk – you can substitute part of this for cream if you want an extra rich version of the recipe, or use half and half for a healthier version.
  • Eggs – these combine with the milk while baking to create the thick custard-like texture.
  • Sugar to taste
  • Currants – or raisins or sultanas will work
  • Flavoring of vanilla – use vanilla extract or vanilla essence.
  • Grated lemon-peel – now usually call lemon peel gives a lovely zing to the recipe
  • Nutmeg

The original recipe is a little vague on some of the exact quantities required, so I have included specific modern measurements in the recipe card below.

Instructions

  1. Butter 8 or 9 thin slices of bread and layer them in a pie-dish with currants between each layer and on the top. I like to cut the bread into triangles as it fits into the baking dish more easily.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla extract and lemon-zest to the milk.
  3. Whisk the eggs well, and stir into the milk.
  4. Pour the mixture over the bread and butter. If time allows, refrigerate for around two hours before baking.
  5. Bake at F/C (Mrs Beeton’s original recipe states ‘in a moderate oven’) for 1 hour or until golden brown and custard is set.

Variations

The original recipe is perfect every time, but if you feel adventurous you can mix it up by trying one of these variations:

  • Instead of using regular sliced bread try brioche or sliced baguette
  • Make an Easter bread and butter pudding by using up any left over hot cross buns. The benefit of this is that they have currants in them already!
  • Add some candied fruit peel between layers of bread
  • Make a Christmas bread and butter pudding by using dried cranberries instead of currants
  • Try a chocolate bread and butter pudding by switching out some (or all) of the currants for chocolate chips
  • Use orange zest instead of lemon zest (btw this goes great with chocolate chips for a chocolate orange bread and butter pudding)

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding Recipe Card

Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pudding

Traditional bread and butter pudding in a white pan.

How to make traditional bread and butter pudding.

Ingredients

  • 8-9 thin slices of bread
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup currants or raisins
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon-peel or nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Butter 8 or 9 slices of bread and layer them in a pie-dish with currants between each layer and on the top.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla extract and lemon-zest to the milk.
  3. Whisk the eggs well, and stir into the milk.
  4. Pour the mixture over the bread and butter. If time allows, refrigerate for around two hours before baking.
  5. Bake at F/C (Mrs Beeton's original recipe states 'in a moderate oven') for 1 hour or until golden brown and custard is set.

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