Between April 16th and 22nd here is Britain we are celebrating National Bread Week – the perfect excuse to enjoy as much of this beloved British staple as possible!
National Bread Week has been celebrated during the month of April for the past twelve years and was originally set up to celebrate the ‘roll’ that bread plays in our daily diet. Bread really has gotten a bad rap over the last few years, with low-carb diets being all the rage and health concerns increasing regarding our over consumption of refined, white carbohydrates. With all this bad press, the humble loaf has been pushed aside, with far too many people still believing that this is the healthy decision.
The reality is that bread can be a healthy part of a balanced diet, and not only that, but it’s delicious to boot! There is nothing quite so comforting as warm toast slathered in butter, or thick slices of homemade bread dunked into soup. And where would Britain be without a sandwich? According to the British Sandwich Association Britain consumes nearly 11 billion sandwiches a year! That is an awful lot of bread!
There’s more to bread than just toast and sandwiches though. The simple loaf is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen, being used as everything from breadcrumbs to crisp up the top of a casserole, to adding unctuous body to a gooey and sweet summer pudding. One of my favourite ways to enjoy bread is in a delicious homemade bread pudding, and it’s also the perfect way to use up some slices that are a little past their prime.
Bread and Butter Pudding
Once you’ve mastered this simple recipe for a classic bread pudding you can start to personalize it and really make it your own. Try adding fresh berries or chocolate chips on top or sprinkle in some cinnamon for a real winter warmer.
- Begin by buttering each side of the slices of bread
- Remove the crusts from the bread if desired and cut the slices into quarter triangles
- Lay the triangles of bread slightly overlapping into a buttered heat proof dish.
- Sprinkling the sultanas on the bottom, middle and a few on top-slightly tucked under the bread to stop them burning.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and cream in a separate bowl before pouring over the layered bread.
- Make sure to push the bread down into the custard mixture and leave to soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Grate on a little fresh nutmeg or ground cinnamon if desired.
- Bake in a preheated oven gas 6/200*c/400*f for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is set but still soft.
- Serve generous portions while still warm, drizzled with extra custard or cream if desired.