Recipe video above. A quintessential British dessert and a firm favourite world-wide, this is custardy on the inside, and golden and buttery on the surface! While pre-sliced bread works a treat, it's dinner party-worthy when made with bread that can be cut or torn into cubes. Crunchier surface, and better custardy texture inside!This is the Aussie / British version which is far less sweet than typical American Bread Pudding recipes (but still plenty sweet in my opinion!). Toppings are not optional!
Egg Mixture: Place eggs in a large bowl, whisk briefly. Add remaining Egg Mixture ingredients and whisk.
Soak Bread: Add bread and sultanas, briefly mix, then set aside for 3 minutes to allow egg mixture to soak through the bread.
Transfer to baking dish: Pour into a baking dish (10 cup / 2.5 litre / 2.5 quart). If you have lots of sultanas on the surface, poke them below the surface (Note 3).
Drizzle then bake: Drizzle over melted butter, then bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden on top and the inside is set but still slightly wobbly (poke to check).
Brush with remaining 1 1/2 tbsp melted butter (optional), then dust with icing sugar.
Serve - rest for a few ninutes, then serve immediately, with toppings of choice! My favourites are ice cream, custard and cream.
1. Bread - Though the classic version is made with plain white bread, you can make this with any bread of choice - like raisin bread, hot cross buns, brioche, anything!Artisan bread with very thick chewy crusts - eg. some types of sourdough: these can be used if they are fresh or a bit stale. Do not use if they are super stale and dried out - they will be rock hard (ie you can't even tear them, you have saw through them with a serrated knife) so not suitable for this recipe.Rye, seeded breads - they will work fine, I just don't recommend using anything with too strong a flavour that might be at odds with the sweet vanilla flavour of this dish!Gluten free - absolutely works, it just comes down to how good the GF bread is :)Measuring bread - See photo in post for what I mean by heaped cups. Basically stack bread in a cup so it's heaped - imagine if you pressed down lightly, it would level the cup. Can't provide a weight as breads differ in density. Don't get hung up on exact measurement - you'll easily be able to tell when you mix the bread and egg, should be soaked through, still some egg mixture pooling (slightly). The worst is using way too much bread that doesn't get soaked through = dry pudding!Pre-sliced bread: Also terrific made with PRE SLICED sandwich bread slices! Use 12 slices (thick cut) or 14 slices (normal thickness), cut in half into triangles then layer in the baking dish slightly overlapping (so surface isn't flat), scatter each layer with sultanas, and pour egg mixture over the whole thing.Slightly stale bread works a bit better because it doesn't soak through instantly and turn into mush. If using super fresh bread, just be a bit more gentle when tossing into Egg Mixture (I use fresh regularly). 2. Cream - The basic Bread & Butter Pudding recipe is made with only milk. I like using cream to give this a bit of richness.Just milk option: Add an extra egg (so 4 eggs in total) then use milk instead of cream (so 2 1/2 cups milk in total). You need the extra egg to ensure this sets because milk is not as thick as cream.3. Sultanas have a tendency to brown a bit too much in this bake time. So while some on the surface is fine, you don't want too many. So if lots end up on the surface, poke them in a bit!4. WHAT I DO DIFFERENTLY (and why): Most classic recipes butter the bread slices before cutting / tearing and soaking. I prefer to add melted butter into the mixture for more even distribution and it's just easier, and I like to brush the top with butter before and after baking, just for that extra buttery goodness! (Plus it makes it really nice and golden on top).Also, while delicious made with sliced bread, I think it's even better made with cut/torn loaf or rolls because you get a WAY better crunchy surface and the texture of the inside is better - more custardy (due to larger bread pieces), fluffier and can be cut with straight sides and stacked on plates so it sits tall and impressively (pictured in post).5. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. If made using chunks of bread as per recipe, it will even keep the crunchy topping even if reheated in the microwave! I haven't tried freezing but I see no reason why it wouldn't work given I freeze Cheese and Bacon Breakfast Strata (which is a savoury bread pudding).6. Nutrition per serving assuming 8 servings, excluding toppings (because I cannot be held accountable for how much custard you pour over your pudding!). If you include a scoop of ice cream, there's enough for 8 sensible servings.