Bread and Butter Pudding

When we were in Ireland May of 2013, specifically in Dingle on the west coast, we were fortunate to stay at a lovely bed and breakfast right on the water called the Castlewood House.

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The multi-award winning B & B is run by Brian Heaton and Helen Woods Heaton, who opened Castlewood House in 2005. Helen runs the front of the house, and Brian, among his other duties, cooks breakfast at Castlewood. And, an outstanding job he does.

In all of my visits to the UK, I’ve somehow missed the experience of bread and butter pudding, which is typically served as a dessert. If you are not aware, all desserts in the UK are called puddings. Don’t ask me why…

But anyway, at this B & B, there it was, amongst many other elaborate breakfast offerings every morning. I could smell the wafting cinnamon smell all the way up to our room in the wee hours.

I was a bit hesitant to try it at first, being that I didn’t need a sugar buzz so early in the day. But fortunately, I did. And I fell in love with it. Helen told me that the recipe for this bread and butter pudding, as well as some others, are posted on their website here.

This is a recipe I can definitely see making during the winter months, because it is sweet and hearty, but I just couldn’t wait. And as it turns out, it would be good any time of the year, especially for a brunch.

So here it is for you. It’s Brian’s recipe! I adapted the recipe just slightly, but you can get the original one by using the link.

Bread and Butter Pudding

12 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed, I used potato bread
About 1 stick, 4 ounces soft unsalted butter
6 ounces golden raisins
Nutmeg, about 1 teaspoon
4 Large Eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces evaporated milk
Ground cinnamon

Have an 8″ square baking dish handy.

Generously butter four slices of bread and place them butter-side down inside the baking dish.

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Sprinkle with some nutmeg and add half of the raisins.

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Arrange another layer of buttered bread, buttered side down and sprinkle on the remaining raisins and more nutmeg.

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Cover with the remaining bread buttered side down.

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In a separate bowl whisk the eggs then add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla, cream and evaporated milk, and whisk until fully incorporated. Carefully pour the mixture over the bread and leave to stand for one hour or ideally overnight.

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Right before baking, sprinkle the top of the bread and butter pudding with nutmeg and cinnamon. (Brian’s recipe doesn’t use cinnamon, but I would have sworn that I smelled cinnamon every morning!)

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place the dish in a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with hot water until the water reaches halfway up the baking dish.

Bake in the middle of the oven for one hour, removing the aluminum foil 10 minutes from the end ensuring the top gets crisp and golden. This photo shows what the pudding looks like after the foil is removed.

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This is the photo of the pudding after the final 10 minutes in the oven. It’s a little more golden brown and puffy.

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I served the bread pudding with crème fraiche. Sweetened whipped cream would also be delicious. I also tried it with some fresh blueberries.

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It was definitely good with the blueberries, but it is absolutely perfect without as well. See what you think!

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I hope if you ever go to Dingle, Ireland, in County Kerry, that you stop by and at least say hi to Brian and Helen, if you don’t have the time to spend a few days. They are kind and generous people who are proud of their B & B as well as their corner of Ireland. Fortunately, Helen was also the one who guided us to have dinner at the Global Village in Dingle, which turned out to be such a wonderful experience. They can be tour guides for you, as well.

By Published On: September 9th, 201347 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

47 Comments

  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller September 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM - Reply

    My mother used to regularly make bread & butter pudding for dessert on Sundays. Real comfort food :)

    • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 1:03 PM - Reply

      It’s a pretty hearty dessert that I’m glad I’ve now experienced!

  2. apuginthekitchen September 9, 2013 at 11:34 AM - Reply

    I love bread and butter pudding, it epitomizes comfort food. What a lovely B&B you stayed at.

    • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM - Reply

      All of our time in Ireland was pretty incredible. It’s a beautiful country.

  3. Amanda September 9, 2013 at 11:47 AM - Reply

    That looks so delicious and so very Irish. Thanks for tackling a classic and sharing.

  4. myhomefoodthatsamore September 9, 2013 at 11:54 AM - Reply

    I can’t believe the coincidence … just a few hours ago my daughter complained that I had promised to make her a bread and butter pudding some time! Yours (Brian’s) looks delicious … I make mine with jam. And yes, English English as opposed to American English calls the sweet ending to a meal (but before the cheese platter is served and not the other way round) a ‘pudding’. Because, I suppose most sweet endings to a meal used be made as puddings in the past. Dessert is a French word anyway.

    • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM - Reply

      Oh, that’s funny! I bet you’re right about the puddings…

  5. tableofcolors September 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM - Reply

    Sounds like a wonderful trip and you certainly found a gem!

    • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 1:01 PM - Reply

      Ireland was really really beautiful.

  6. colormusing September 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM - Reply

    My mother used to make bread pudding with variations (my favorite was with chocolate chips, and I liked it with chunks of apple too), but not the bread-and-butter type. Mmm, will have to try this!

    • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 1:01 PM - Reply

      It’s pretty hearty, and rich. The other variations sound wonderful!

      • colormusing September 9, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        The apple version tasted like applesauce (the good homemade kind) crossed with custard. I think we occasionally had it as a dessert, but I mainly remember bread pudding as one of my favorite hot breakfasts.

      • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        I would certainly eat it for both breakfast and dessert!

  7. Our Growing Paynes September 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious. Pudding is usually cooked and a dessert is something like fresh fruit. Puddings very often have a custard component to them somewhere.

    • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM - Reply

      I dunno… Sticky toffee pudding doesn’t have a custard. It’s just a cake. Maybe there’s no real answer.

      • Our Growing Paynes September 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        But it isn’t raw. A lot of puddings have a custard component because well, it’s really good! But not all cooked puddings have them.

  8. Peri's Spice Ladle September 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM - Reply

    I’ve noticed the simplest bread and butter pudding have the fewest ingredients and often turn out the most delicious! And this one sure fits the bill:)

  9. gingerfightback September 9, 2013 at 2:33 PM - Reply

    Just had some for my pudding! Mmmmmmm

    • chef mimi September 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM - Reply

      Wonderful!!! Do you know why desserts are puddings?

      • gingerfightback September 10, 2013 at 1:36 AM

        Not the foggiest – can you tell me?

      • chef mimi September 10, 2013 at 9:05 AM

        NO! I’m not British!!! You are!

      • gingerfightback September 11, 2013 at 1:57 AM

        Leave it with me then!

      • gingerfightback September 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        I’m having a cup of tea and found this – hope it answers your question!

        According to the OED, the term “pudding” originally referred to the stuffing of entrails with a mixture that included flour. Then, it would be boiled or steamed with water or beer to be cooked. The entrails/intestine skin would act like a protective coating for what was stuffed inside. Effectively, what you would get, was a breadlike substance that could be sliced after the skin was removed (or not).

        Over time, the term “pudding” referred to any steamed or boiled item that contained flour. The English don’t actually call all desserts puddings, though they sometimes put “puddings” on the menu. So, for instance, a Trifle is not a pudding; neither is a custard, but most “cakes” (except for biscuits) are called puddings because of the preparation method.

        All actual English puddings turn out to be steamed bready things, cakes boiled in plastic bags (they no longer use entrails), or flour-made products baked in a bain marie (water bath) in the oven.

      • chef mimi September 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        Okay. Now I’m thoroughly confused!!! That definitely explains blood pudding! No, I definitely get it – I really appreciate your finding this for me!! And, it makes sense.

      • gingerfightback September 12, 2013 at 12:22 AM

        No worries – it is probably more to do with how language evolves and savoury pudding would have been a treat in days of yore and so the term then is used to describe desserts

  10. ladyredspecs September 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM - Reply

    My English Grandma made bread and butter pudding with just one layer of bread which formed a crunchy crust on top of the baked custard. I loved it when I was a kid, but now I prefer a more sophisticated version, with croissants and dried apricots. I think the use of the words pudding and dessert another example of the digression of word usage in different cultures. We tend to follow the English in Australia, though dessert is the all encompassing term for the sweet course at the end if the meal, and puddings are the hot steamed or baked desserts.

    • chef mimi September 10, 2013 at 9:06 AM - Reply

      Oh, I would indulge in your more sophisticated version as well!!! Or brioche – one of my weaknesses over the holidays!

  11. Michelle September 9, 2013 at 10:46 PM - Reply

    Doesn’t that look delicious?

  12. Three Well Beings September 10, 2013 at 1:04 AM - Reply

    I can’t believe this recipe! Oh wow! I love bread pudding, and this takes bread pudding to a whole new level. :-)

    • chef mimi September 10, 2013 at 9:05 AM - Reply

      I have to say it was darn delicious!

  13. camparigirl September 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM - Reply

    I love bread and butter pudding! There is even a similar Italian version of it I used to make all the time. The word pudding, by the way, comes from the French boudin that used to indicate all those dishes made with a bunch of meat and suet and steamed together. Pudding used to be mainly savoury, until sweet versions were made along the same lines and the word “pudding” stuck. Interesting to know that, in class obsessed Britain, pudding was used by the lower classes to indicate a sweet ending to a meal, while the upper classes preferred the French “dessert”.

    • StefanGourmet September 10, 2013 at 6:46 PM - Reply

      How interesting, Claudia. I never knew that. It reminds me of the lower class word “tea” for dinner.

    • chef mimi September 11, 2013 at 5:00 PM - Reply

      Very interesting, Claudia. Thanks for that!

  14. Choc Chip Uru September 10, 2013 at 6:45 PM - Reply

    Wow bread and butter pudding gone totally gourmet and delicious :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • chef mimi September 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM - Reply

      it was delicious… fortunately my husband finished it off!!!

  15. StefanGourmet September 10, 2013 at 6:45 PM - Reply

    Perhaps Brian left out the cinnamon in the published recipe so you’ll come back for more? I often have the impression that recipes published by restaurants contain deliberate mistakes.

    • chef mimi September 11, 2013 at 4:58 PM - Reply

      I think so, too! I mean, there’s the smell of cinnamon, and then there’s the smell of nutmeg…

  16. yummychunklet September 10, 2013 at 6:55 PM - Reply

    Looks decadent with the topping!

  17. grumpytyke September 11, 2013 at 12:35 PM - Reply

    Have to put in my penn’orth. Don’t know about the rest of the UK but in Yorkshire ‘pudding’ is simply the word for what you are calling ‘dessert’, which as one of your commentators pointed out is French. It doesn’t have to be bread-like or cooked in a bag, though that may have been the original meaning – eg, rice pudding is simply rice, milk, sugar and, usually, nutmeg, cooked in a pan or, better, in the oven. Then, of course, there’s Yorkshire pudding; usually eaten now with a ‘roast dinner’, more traditionally eaten before the main course (eg in place of soup) with gravy, but it can also be a ‘dessert’ – my grandmother often served it with ‘golden syrup’ as pudding, ie after the main course. As for bread and butter pudding, it’s a wonderful concoction when made well, ie with ‘proper’ bread, not that chewy abomination sold sliced in the supermarkets. Traditionally it was made to use up buttered bread left from an earlier meal (usually ‘tea’).

  18. The Healthy Epicurean September 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM - Reply

    Bread and butter pudding is truly fabulous and yours looks fantastic!

  19. mmmarzipan October 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM - Reply

    Oh I love b&b pudding! Have never tried making it myself… thanks for sharing this great recipe! :)

  20. warensblog November 22, 2016 at 10:50 PM - Reply

    WOW!!I Love this bread and butter pudding recipe . This gives amazing tatse

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