Cookery Book Author, Culinary Historian and Independent Food Consultant and Trainer in Anglo-Indian Cuisine

June 18, 2008


Bread Pudding is an old fashioned dessert that had its humble beginnings in the 13th century in England. It was first […]

Bread Pudding is an old fashioned dessert that had its humble beginnings in the 13th century in England. It was first known as a “poor man’s pudding” as it was created as a means of making use of stale left over bread for poor people to eat. It was just moistened in water, to which a little sugar, spices and other ingredients were added.  Today after it has passed through so many centuries, we think of bread Pudding as a Rich Treat. Bread pudding is a dessert popular in British cuisine. It is also a popular dessert item  of Belgian, Spanish and French cuisine as well. The French refer to it by the English name “pudding” without the word “bread” and the Belgians call it “Bodding”. It is also referred to as “Migas” and “Budin de Pan” in Spanish. For those unfamiliar with this dish, (which I’m sure there aren’t many), bread pudding is typically made the British way, by soaking slices of bread cut into cubes in a mixture of milk, egg, and sugar; adding raisins and spices and baking or steaming the mixture. Actually its taste is not that much different from French toast, except much moister.  In Spain, bread pudding is made using stale (usually left-over) bread, suet, eggs, sugar, spices, dried fruit and / or golden syrup. The bread is soaked (often overnight) in some water, squeezed dry, and mixed with the other ingredients. The mixture is transferred into a dish and baked. It is then served with a sweet liquor sauce of some sort, such as whiskey sauce, rum sauce, or just caramel sauce. However in the U K and Southern USA where it is now quite popular, it  is typically sprinkled with sugar and eaten cold in squares or slices along with  custard sauce. In France oranges and other fruits are added to give it a different flavour. Bread Pudding was introduced in India by the British during the time of the East India company. It was an easy dessert for  the colonial servants to make and became popular in Anglo-Indian cusine which is loved and enjoyed even today. Each family has its own recipe for making bread pudding whether baked or steamed. Adding Condensed milk, cream, etc adds to the taste and calories!!! Bread pudding can be made into a savoury dish as well by substituting sugar and raisins with chopped tomatoes, green chillies or capsisums / chillie peppers etc. You could experiment and make your own tasty pudding. Of course, one’s choice of bread, the addition of optional ingredients, and the details of preparation can make bread pudding into art form. Bread pudding can be made into a rich heavy dessert or just a simple light dish that even an invalid can digest. The possibilities are endless. Try out the recipes given below.


Serves 6 

Preparation time 1 hour

3 cups Milk                                                       

8 slices of bread cut into cubes
200 grams butter                                              

200 grams sugar
2 beaten eggs                                                    

1/4 tsp salt
200 grams raisins and chopped nuts                

1 tsp vanilla essence

Heat milk to scalding, and pour over the bread cubes. Set aside to cool for some time then add all the other ingredients. Add more milk if too dry. Pour into a buttered baking pan or dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Serve warm.

The same pudding can be steamed in a pressure cooker as well.



Serves 6 Preparation time 1 hour


 8 slices of bread                                   

2 cups milk

50 grams butter                                   

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence                  

½ cup chopped cashew nuts or walnuts

3 tablespoons raisins                            

2 tablespoons jam

2 eggs beaten well.

Remove the crusts from the bread slices and butter them on both sides. Place 4 of the buttered slices in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the raisins and nuts over them. Spread the jam on the remaining 4 buttered slices of bread and lay them (Jam side down) over the raisins and nuts. Mix the milk, beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla essence together and pour this mixture over the pieces of bread soaking them completely. Sprinkle some more raisins and nuts on the top. Bake in a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes.Note: This pudding can also be steamed for 30 minutes instead of baking if desired

Article written by Bridget White-Kumar
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram