It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re in your pyjamas. Rain pours outside and the wind whips the trees around. There is *no* way you’re going out there… but what do you do about that craving for something sweet and delicious?
Enter bread and butter pudding.Take a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry already and combine them together to make the most comforting of desserts. As the warmth from the oven and the scent of vanilla wafts through your house, all thoughts of the cold outside will start to disappear. A cup of tea, a cat at your feet and a bowl of pudding will make them vanish altogether.
Soft and creamy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, it’s really easy to make this dish your own.Traditionally, the pudding will have some kind of dried fruit, like raisins, but you can substitute them for choc chips for a more modern take, or even nuts or candied citrus peel. If you want something extra rich, you can make it with cream, but if that’s not your thing, you can use just milk. You can even slather the bread with jam or peanut butter before popping it in the oven. The ways you can make this are endless, but they will all be delicious and perfect for a wintry evening. Here’s my version:
- 1 loaf stale fruit bread
- 2 tbs butter
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup brown sugar plus 2 tbs, for sprinkling
- 4 eggs 300ml cream
- 500ml milk
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp vanilla essence Ice cream or custard, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 175°C.
- Cut the bread into thick slices, then cut each slice in half. Butter one side of each slice, then layer the bread in a large glass or ceramic dish, sprinkling choc chips between each layer.
- Lightly whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then add ½ cup sugar, the cream, milk, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.
- Pour half the egg mixture over the bread, then wait about 10 minutes for it to soak in before adding the rest. At this point, you can leave the bread to soak for another half hour or so if you like a softer, squishier pudding, or go straight to the next step.
- Sprinkle the 2tbs sugar over the pudding. Place the pudding in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden. Serve hot with ice cream or custard.
If you want to feel even warmer, why not buy your bread from The Bread and Butter Project? Created by the folks behind Bourke Street Bakery, the Bread and Butter Project is a social enterprise that equips refugees and asylum seekers with the skills to be a baker, including TAFE certification and work experience in a real commercial bakery.
One hundred per cent of the profits go back into the training programs. The breads available include a fruit sourdough packed with figs, cranberries and raisins (which is what I use to make my pudding), beer and barley loaf, whey and rye, and, of course, white and wholegrain sourdough. They are all made with organic ingredients and not only do they taste wonderful, you’re doing something great for the community!
You can get yourself a loaf of Bread and Butter Project bread at the Sydney Morning Herald Growers’ Market in Pyrmont, Eveleigh Farmers’ Market at Carriageworks, EQ Village Market or the David Jones Foodhall in the city or Bondi.