As a vegetarian, I am always looking for innovative ways to make meals interesting and tasty, as well as nutritious, for the whole family.
A Very Traditional British Dish
Bread and butter pudding is a very traditional British dish. One of the earliest recorded recipes, which uses the same ingredients as we use today, appears in The Complete Housewife, published by Eliza Smith in 1728.
This dessert is a favourite of mine. It is a tasty treat that’s easy, quick and inexpensive to make, and all that's required is just a few slices of bread and basic ingredients. It is a simple meal incredibly packed with wholesome flavour.
This recipe is a variation of mine based on the traditional bread and butter pudding—but instead of using sliced bread, we make use leftover crusts, in addition to any stale bread rolls that have gone rock-hard, which would otherwise end up being wasted and thrown away in the bin.
If you don’t have enough crusts, you can use a mixture of crusts and slices of bread to give an equally satisfying dish to serve up to the family in the evening after the main meal.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 3 to 6 crusts of bread
- butter or margarine
- 3/4 pint milk
- 2 oz. caster sugar
- 4 oz. sultanas
- 3 eggs
- Generously butter your crusts (and rolls if you are using any).
- Slice the crusts diagonally into triangular quarters.
- Place quartered crust in a casserole dish, butter side up, filling the bottom of the dish and build up in layers; and if you are using any rolls put them in first so that they are at the bottom of this dish. Any stale bread should go nearer the bottom with the fresher bread at the top, so that the harder bread gets more of a soaking from the milk to soften it up before being baked.
- Sprinkle the sultanas and any other fruit over the top.
- Add the sugar and eggs together and quickly whisk.
- Add the milk to the sugar and egg mix and continuing whisking briefly until it’s all well mixed.
- Pour the milky egg mix over the top of the dish and allow it to stand (with the lid on) for no less than 45 minutes, ideally 1.5 hours, to allow the bread to soak up the milky mix before baking.
- With the lid on the casserole dish, place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes at 180C, or until the top layer begins to crisp and brown.
- Remove from oven and serve.
The ingredients in this recipe are the minimum required to make a tasty bread and butter pudding using three to six crusts. Whether using three or six crusts, 2 ounces of caster sugar is ample. However, for six crusts you might want to use a little more milk and an extra egg, but I would recommend not using more than 1 pint of milk. To get the best balance of fruit I would recommend 1 oz. of sultanas for each crust e.g. for six crusts I would suggest 6 oz. of sultanas; although if you want to make it more fruity other fruits such as a little grated orange peel and a few raisins can also be added.
If you have some bread rolls that have gone rock hard you can substitute some of the crust for the bread rolls but I would recommend not using more than two bread rolls. And if you don’t have enough crusts you could make up the difference with bread and butter.
Step-by-Step Photo Guide
How to Utilise Unwanted Bread to Make a Tasty Dish
If you’re the only one in the family who likes crusts, it’s surprising how (over the week) half a dozen crusts can end up in the fridge; and if not eaten soon go stale or mouldy and have to be thrown away. Also, following a BBQ, garden party or party celebration, where bread rolls are always on the menu, you invariably end up with a pack of spare bread rolls which within days go rock hard and end up being thrown away.
Anyone who reads my veggie recipes will appreciate I don’t like waste and will recycle good wholesome food whenever possible rather than waste money binning it. Bread is no exception. Bread rolls and French sticks that invariably go rock hard if not consumed within a day or two are ideal for making French stick pizzas. Crusts, if they go hard can be used to make breadcrumbs or croutons for soup. And as shown in my recipe in this article, all these (otherwise wasted) bread products are ideal for making tasty bread and butter pudding to whet the appetite of your guests at celebratory parties.
How Do You Use Scraps?
Has this tasty dish given you an appetite to experiment with recipes or create your own innovative meals?
Do you have any tasty, bready tips to share with others, or novel ideas for using food scraps rather than throwing them in the bin? If so, add your views in the comments box at the bottom of the page.
Variation on the Traditional Recipe
When rummaging through the fridge for ideas for a meal, I came across half a dozen crusts and a couple of stale bread rolls leftover from a recent BBQ party. I could have used them to make a variation in a French stick pizza, which would have been tasty, but I fancied making a lush bread and butter pudding like my wife sometimes does.
To my dismay, when I turned to our recipe books looking for bread and butter recipes, all the recipes I found recommended using sliced bread only (not crusts), and one recipe in particular even stated that you should remove the crusts from the sliced bread. What a waste of good food.
However, I was not deterred. I sat down with a cup of coffee, and with the recipes in front of me had a good think. One of the main ingredients of bread and butter pudding is milk; milk softens bread and should work a treat to soften stale bread, crusts and rock hard bread rolls alike, especially as one of the recipes stated that the bread and butter pudding will improve by allowing to stand for up to 1.5 hours or more before baking. The other point I picked up on is that all the recipes recommended leaving the lid off the casserole dish to allow the top layer to crisp-up during baking. The bread products I intended using were already crisp enough; if anything, they needed softening up not crisping up. Therefore I decided this recipe will do better with the lid on.
Repurposing Stale Bread
You pay for it, so why not utilise it? Crust and stale bread bought with your own well-earned bread often end their days in the bin; whereas with a bit of TLC they can be repurposed for bread and butter pudding, bread crumbs, croutons for soup, and even as a base for homemade pizzas.
Using Up Your Crusts
Guestbook Comments - Waste not and want not
Arthur Russ (author) from England on June 16, 2017:
Thanks for all your feedback, I've never tried a brioche one DreyaB, knowing the French I can imagine it's really delightful.
remas-haytham-92 on December 19, 2013:
@DreyaB: Very cool
Dan from CNY on October 30, 2013:
Thanx for sharing.
CampingmanNW on October 29, 2013:
DreyaB on October 29, 2013:
I love, love, love bread and butter pudding; it's one of my favourites. My mum used to make a mean B&B pudding. Living in France we've adapted to doing a brioche one - that's really nice. ;0) Cool page btw. :0)