I like to use thick cut (a.k.a cafe style in Australian supermarkets) fruit toast for this but if you have some brioche leftover, go for it, and I’ve also used leftover croissants at work. If you’re using brioche, it’s pretty easy, same thick slices but skip the butter, you will need the dried fruit that is optional if you use fruit toast. If you have regular size croissants, use 4-5 croissants, skip the butter, and use the dried fruit.
The custard in this recipe is not overly sweet, but has a beautiful vanilla flavour from the generous amount of vanilla paste. Please use vanilla paste in your baking and refrain from using vanilla essence, I promise there’s a huge difference and your baked products would be so much better! If you have access to good vanilla beans, use those instead, but vanilla paste is the next best thing. You can find vanilla paste in your local supermarket or on Amazon:
I wrote this recipe as straightforward as I could, but a lot of people struggle with custard, and end up with sweet scrambled eggs. My tips for a successful custard sauce: low and slow is key, low heat for this amount, and constant stirring. Get your strainer, bowl for the custard and bowl of ice ready. If you end up overcooking the sauce, don’t try to serve it, just serve the pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’ve read tips on how to save overcooked creme anglaise and custard, and in my honest and humble opinion, there is no saving it. The taste and smell is just different, it’s very, very eggy. And I don’t know about you, I love scrambled eggs in the morning, but not for dessert.
So have a go at this recipe. As you could tell, I have made this a few times using a number of different bases and it totally works. Tag me on Instagram or send me a message on Facebook or email if you have any questions! Good luck and have fun baking and eating!!!
Click on the photos to shop for the products. Most products ship internationally.
Bread & Butter Pudding
- For the custard
- Butter the fruit slices then cut in half. Some people trim the crust, in this case you will need 8 slices of fruit toast, if you keep the crust, 7 slices is enough. Use the leftover butter to grease a 20 x 15 x 5 cm baking dish. Place the fruit toasts in the baking dish with the dried fruit, if using, then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 150C. In a medium sauce pan, bring vanilla, milk and cream to the boil. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar.
- When the liquid boils, slowly pour it into the egg mix while continuously whisking. Strain the custard then pour into the bread inside the baking dish. The bread will start absorbing the liquid. Just keep topping up until the absorption stops and you can see the custard around the bread. I use about 700 ml of my custard and and would have 300 ml left over. Set the leftover custard aside.
- Sprinkle raw sugar evenly on top of the bread and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the custard is just set but still wobbly.You will notice the bread would puff up, at this stage you do not want to over cook the custard because it will taste eggy. Once ready, take out of the oven and let rest on the counter. Serve warm.
- While the pudding is baking, put the leftover custard in a small pot and stir continuously until it starts to coat the back of the spoon. Strain into a bowl over ice water and whisk until it cools down. This will be your extra sauce.
- To serve, cut the bread and butter pudding into 4 and serve the sauce on the side or on top.
- If you prefer brioche, use brioche with a cup of chopped mixed dried fruit like cranberries, apricots and sultanas. This is so yummy!
- Some cafes also use leftover croissants, but I've only done this at work and forget how many I use. but I would say 4 standard croissants and same amount of dried fruit as above.