Coffee bread and butter pudding

E nglish recipes for bread and butter pudding first appeared in in the 1720s, when it was made with fresh buttered bread, sprinkled with currants and baked with a nutmeg-flavoured custard.  Since then, there have been countless variations.  For example, the bread can be replaced by brioche, and custard can be infused with different ingredients such as chocolate or saffron. This recipe comes from my book National Trust Simply Baking (see Books page). 

Serves 6

425ml/ pint milk

425ml/ pint double cream

4 tablespoons medium ground coffee beans

115g/4oz granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

55g/2oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

9 thick slices good-quality, white bread

85g/3oz raisins

2 medium eggs

3 medium egg yolks


1  Put the milk, cream, coffee and 115/4oz granulated sugar in a saucepan.  Set over a medium heat and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, stir once and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.


2  Meanwhile, liberally butter a 20 x30cm/8 x 12in oval shallow ovenproof dish, or a rectangular dish of a similar size.  Liberally butter the sliced bread, cut off the crusts and cut into halves or quarters.  Arrange half of the bread in the buttered dish, buttered side up, and sprinkle with the raisins.  Cover with the remaining bread, buttered side up.


3  Lightly beat the whole eggs and yolks together, then strain through a sieve into a large jug.  Strain the coffee cream through a fine sieve into the eggs.  Mix thoroughly and pour over the buttered bread.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes, so that the custard has time to soak into the bread. 


Preheat the oven to fan 170C/gas 4.  Sprinkle the top of the bread with the tablespoon of sugar, place in a roasting pan and add enough just-boiled water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is flecked golden.  Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.


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