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Sorry I haven’t been around for a couple of days.  I have had the mother of all colds and it was so bad that I ended up in bed.  It is on the wane now and I am feeling a lot more like my old self, although I still have a very tight chest and a niggling cough which is driving me to distraction.   I have sore muscles in my sides from all of the coughing.  Blah.

One might be tempted to overlook this recipe as it doesn’t look like anything special, but this is one of those great old fashioned recipes that is a gem in disguise.  It’s one of the Toddsters favourites!  He has always said his mother made the best bread puddings, but after I made him this one the other day, he’s changed his mind and declared mine better than hers.  I am well pleased.

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Designed to make the use of stale or leftover bread this pudding isn’t to be confused with it’s lighter airier cousin Bread and Butter Pudding.   This is the ugly stepsister of said pudding . . . stodgy . . . heavy . . .  and stogged full of dried fruits and spices.

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You can see from the photograph that is is quite solid and cuts nicely into squares, which makes it perfect for eating out of hand if you wish.  In fact I often see it being sold by the square in bake shop windows.

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It is lovely warm, cut into squares and served with custard or cream . . .  but it is equally as lovely served cold along side a nice hot cuppa.

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It is very reminiscent of a fruit cake in both texture and weight . . .  and flavour actually, except it’s not a cake . . .  it’s a delicious pudding.  I am not sure how old the recipe is, but I suspect that it’s been around a very long time.

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I do hope you’ll give it a go and that when you do you enjoy it as much as we do.  It’s relatively low in fat as well I would say. Yes, there is some butter in it, but not a lot . . .  economical, delicious and real comforting family fare.

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*A Traditional Bread Pudding*
Makes one 12 by 9 inch pan

This is very different than bread and butter pudding.  Don’t confuse the two.  This is a very traditional and stodgily delicious blend of dried fruit, spices, bread, eggs and milk. Perfect for a winters day tucked up in side in the warmth and best served with custard or cream.  It’s also very good served cold and simply cut into squares. 

400g of white bread, torn into pieces (about 7 cups)

600ml of milk (2 1/2 cups)

450g of dried fruit (3 cups)

(Use a mixture of raisins, sultanas and currants

100g sugar (1/2 cup)

50g of self raising flour (1/4 cup plus 2 TBS)

1 1/2 TBS mixed spice (see my right hand side bar for a recipe to make your own)

2 large free range eggs, beaten

100g of butter, melted (7 TBS)

demerara sugar to sprinkle on top (turbinado)

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Preheat the oven to 150*C/300*F.  Butter a rectangular pan about 12 by 9 inches well.  Set aside.

Put the bread into a large bowl.  Pour the milk over top and allow it to stand for 10 minutes.   At the end of that time, beat it all together with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the dried fruit and sugar.  Mix well together.  Stir in the flour and mixed spice.   Add the beaten eggs and the melted butter.  Pour into the prepared pan.   Sprinkle demerara sugar on top evenly. Bake for one and a half hours.  Raise the oven temperature to 180*C.350*F. and bake for a further 10 minutes or so until the pudding is golden.   Excellent served warm with custard or cream, or eaten cold.

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