For this quick and easy recipe, we mean pudding in the British sense of the word — according to Vox, that’s a generic term for the "sweet, final course of the meal." Despite bread and butter pudding’s origins as an 11th century British peasants’ dessert, its delicious flavor and wonderful texture have brought it back as a comfort food in the last century.
According to recipe developer Susan Olayinka, this is a dish that evokes nostalgia and comfort. "My mum used to make it all the time and it brought back such good memories," says the chef, who specializes in quick, healthy, and family friendly recipes with her food blog The Flexible Fridge. "Also," she adds, "the fact that you can make a desert with bread always baffles me!" This dish is as quick to whip up as it is to devour, so don’t be surprised when it disappears from your fridge!
Gather the ingredients for your bread and butter pudding
Before you can start making your delicious bread and butter pudding, you’ll need to gather your ingredients. This recipe requires 11 slices of your favorite cinnamon raisin bread, 1/4 cup butter, 2 cups milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 7 eggs (which will be used as 4 eggs and 3 yolks), 1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons sugar (which should remain divided, as you’ll use the 1/2 cup for the custard and the 3 tablespoons to sprinkle on top before baking), and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. As far as cookware, you’ll need a buttered 7×11 casserole dish, a cutting board and knife to cut the bread, as well as a mixing bowl and whisk to make the custard.
Butter the bread
Once you’ve gathered everything you will need to make this delicious pudding, you can move on to preparing the bread. On the chopping board, take the slices of cinnamon raisin bread and butter one side of each. Once all the slices have been buttered, place two pieces butter-sides together, like you are making butter sandwiches. Next, cut each sandwich in half diagonally into two triangles. Now you’re on your way to bready-y heaven!
Separate the bread pieces
For this next step, you’ll be arranging the bread pieces into the casserole dish. To do this, separate the sandwiches made in the previous step, putting the individual triangles butter-side down into the buttered casserole dish as you go. It will be easiest to separate one sandwich, place its pieces in the dish, then move to the next sandwich (rather than separating every single one and finding space to place all the slices on your counter!).
How to arrange in the casserole dish
As far as how to place the pieces of bread in the dish, Olayinka says not to stress too much. "It’s more so for the aesthetics," she says regarding the triangle placement. Keep in mind that you will likely have two layers of bread. Olayinka says as long as the first layer is making contact with the bottom of the pan, every piece in the second layer is touching another, and all the pieces are laying mostly flat, you shouldn’t have any problems. Additionally, don’t forget to go butter-side down!
Make the custard
Once you have painstakingly arranged your bread slices in the casserole dish, you can start making the custard to pour on top. To do so, add the eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, milk, sugar and vanilla extract to your mixing bowl and whisk until combined. This step is what gives the bread its beautiful, moist texture, in addition to adding a little bit of flavor.
Pour custard and bake
Finally, it’s almost time to bake! The next thing you will need to do is pour the custard over the top of the bread, making sure to distribute it evenly. Next, sprinkle the 3 tablespoons of sugar on top (for a golden crunch once baked!) and set the whole thing aside for 20 minutes. While you wait, make sure your oven is preheated to 350 F.
Let cool and serve
You have reached the last leg of the journey to custard-y goodness! In this final step, you’ll want to bake your pudding for 40 minutes. Once it is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes, ensuring the custard sets. Now that you have patiently waited a good long while, it’s finally time to dig in! Serve the pudding by cutting the pudding into pieces, and even topping with optional additional custard if you so desire (Olayinka used store-bought custard for the topping and warmed it up before serving).
- 11 slices cinnamon raisin bread
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup and 3 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus additional for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Store-bought custard, for serving
- Butter your 7×11 casserole dish.
- On a cutting board, butter the bread slices.
- Put the buttered bread slices together to form sandwiches, then cut in half into two triangles.
- Separate the sandwiches and arrange the individual triangles in the casserole dish, butter-side facing down.
- Make the custard in a mixing bowl using eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, milk, ½ cup sugar and vanilla extract. Combine with a whisk.
- Pour the custard mixture onto the bread and sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar on top.
- Set aside for 20 minutes and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and set aside for 20 minutes for the custard to set.
- Serve on a serving dish and top with optional store-bought warmed custard.