Take: a loaf of bread (or equivalent quantity of whatever bready/caky stuff you have lying around that needs using up*, total weight about 1lb); half a pint of cream; a pint of milk; 6 eggs; some vanilla essence, cinammon and nutmeg (about 2tsp each); raisins.

[*We used a stale chocolate muffin plus a brioche loaf from the reduced section at the supermarket.]

1. Put the oven on, to about 180C (or 200C if your oven is as wonky as mine).
2. Chop or break the bread / cake / whatever into small pieces – doesn’t really matter but no smaller than, say, 1cm cubes. Maybe a bit bigger than that is better.
3. Put the bread into a large ovenproof dish e.g. a lasagne dish. Sprinkle raisins in amongst the bread cubes. Squash it all down tight. Squash, squash, squash.
4. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them up, then add all the other ingredients and mix them up.
5. Pour the custardy stuff over the bread. Admire the little bubbles that appear as the liquid percolates down to fill in any remaining airspaces.
6. Stick it in the oven for about an hour, until a skewer comes out cleanly.

Makes enough for – 9 good sized pieces. (We have a square dish, so 9 is a good number….)

CREATIVE TIPS:

Add cocoa powder or grated chocolate to the custardy stuff, or dollop chocolate chunks into the custard (see picture), or mix choc chips in with the bread cubes, or use actual chocolate cake (stale, otherwise you’d just eat it, right?) or some combination of any or all of these – hey presto, chocolate bread pudding!

Add booze to the custardy stuff, and/or use raisins that have been soaked in booze – boozy bread pudding! Or add orange zest to the custardy stuff, use cherries as well as raisins, try different kinds of bread and cake – our minipud shown below was made with old gingercake and was looooovely… The world is your oyster šŸ™‚

Another variation is to make small bread puddings in ramekins or (as in the picture below) a homemade clay pot that your dad gave you in a fit of pottery-related enthusiasm. These will only need to cook for about 30-40 minutes or so.

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