Even if you are on a new-year health kick, a bread and butter pudding is a great thing to have in the freezer for your comfort food emergency.
You can prepare this food with any plain or sweet bread. Most bread and butter pudding recipes involve a very simple custard — a combination of milk, cream, sugar and eggs, mixed together and poured over the bread. Here’s the recipe for a perfect bread and butter pudding:
50g currants, raisins or sultanas, or a mixture, optional
3 tbsp brandy, optional
200ml whole milk
Vanilla pod, halved
Zest of 1/2 lemon
75g slightly salted butter
8 slices of slightly stale white sourdough, fruit bread or panettone, cut into triangles
2 tbsp caster sugar
100ml double cream
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Nutmeg, to grate
If you are using fruit bread, you can skip this step. Put the dried fruit into a small cup and pour over enough brandy to cover it. Cover tightly and leave to soak overnight.
To make the pudding, put the milk into a small pan with the vanilla pod. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, add the lemon zest and allow to cool. Butter your baking dish and the bread, and arrange the triangles in overlapping rows inside. Beat the eggs and sugar.
Then remove the vanilla pod before beating the milk and cream into the egg mixture. Pour a little more than half of the mixture over the bread. Add the soaked fruit and leave it for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Arrange the rest of the bread in a second layer and drizzle over the rest of the custard.
Dot with the remaining butter, then scatter demerara sugar and grate some nutmeg on the top. Place the baking dish in a roasting tin and fill the tin halfway with water to make a bain marie. Cook for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.