Bread pudding is one of those nostalgic bakes that is a cross between a pudding and a cake and one that takes me right back to my childhood. It is something my Mum made regularly and yet I've never made it before. But we were talking about it at the weekend and I suddenly had an urge to make some... probably something to do with the need to fill up my contantly hungry sons.
Despite rummaging through all my scraps of paper and recipe books I couldn't find Mum's recipe anywhere so I had to resort to some research on the internet, took what seemed to be the best elements from several recipes and this was my version which wasn't too bad... although I will get Mum to give me her recipe again so I can do a comparison!
In a large bowl tear up 400g of white bread (I used the crusts as well but you can remove them if you like) and add 600ml milk and allow to soak for 10 mins. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mash it all up to combine. Stir in 450g dried fruit (I used raisins and currants) and 100g sugar. Then add 50g Self Raising flour and one & a half tbsp of mixed spice. Finally add 2 beaten eggs and 100ml of melted butter. Pour into a rectangular or square baking tin approx 20cm x 25 cm and bake for one and a half hours at 150 deg C. Turn up the heat to 180 and cook for another 10 mins or so until pudding browns. Excellent warm with custard or eaten cold.
It's the sort of pudding that makes you feel you should be doing a long hike or a strenuous bike ride but after a miserable grey day like today when the damp fog hasn't really lifted and the lights have been on all day indoors I think it's a perfectly acceptable pudding for when sitting on your backside in front of a sewing machine all day... don't you?