Old Fashioned English Bread Pudding (Dairy Free / Egg Free / Vegan)

Today I’m delighted to be sharing the recipe for one of my favourite childhood treats – Old Fashioned English Bread Pudding. Its name certainly doesn’t do it justice though, as it tastes nothing like bread nor would I describe it as a pudding! Instead, it is more like a sweet, dense fruit cake. It is delicious served with a hot cuppa, and also makes a fantastic energy-boosting snack to stash in your backpacks for hikes and bike rides. I think this year, all of us have been spending a lot more time outdoors and we definitely need some tasty snacks to keep us fuelled and put a spring in our step. This bread pudding definitely fits that bill!

When I first went vegan, I thought that I was going to have to forego this favourite treat of mine, but it turns out that it was really easy to ‘veganise’ my family’s traditional bread pudding recipe. It was simply a case of switching the cow’s milk for plant milk (I use soya), switching the butter for oil, and ditching the egg. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference from the original. I was absolutely over the moon that my beloved bread pudding was back on the menu.

When I was selling my cookbook at local fairs, I would often take some trays of bread pudding to display on our stall, and they would go in a flash. It was a running joke that the bread pudding was our top sales person as people would often buy a slice, then come back to buy the book specifically for that bread pudding recipe!

Since my cookbook is almost out of print,  I thought it would be useful to share the recipe here on the blog, so everyone can enjoy a slice or two of this tasty treat.

It is really easy to make and super cheap too! It is traditionally made with stale bread, but as bread never hangs around long enough in my house to go stale, I buy a cheap loaf of wholemeal bread instead. The supermarkets’ own brand medium-sliced bread only costs about 60p and you need less than a whole loaf to make 16 slices of bread pudding, making it an absolute bargain!

Old Fashioned English Bread Pudding

Its name certainly doesn't do it justice, as bread pudding neither tastes like bread nor would I class it as a pudding! It's more like a sweet, dense fruit cake. It is delicious served with a cuppa and also makes a fantastic energy-boosting snack for hikes and bike rides. It's super filling, so be sure to cut those squares a modest size!
Cook Time 2 hrs
Hands-on Time 20 mins
Course Snack, Treat
Cuisine English
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g / 17½ oz wholemeal (whole wheat) bread
  • 600 ml / 2½ cups soya milk
  • 1 TBSP mixed spice
  • ½ TBSP ground cinnamon (or more mixed spice)
  • 500 g / 3½ cups mixed dried fruit e.g. sultanas, raisins, candied citrus peel
  • zest of 1 unwaxed/organic lemon
  • zest of 1 unwaxed/organic orange
  • 50 ml / ¼ cup neutral-flavoured oil (I use organic rapeseed (canola) oil)
  • 100 g / ½ cup unrefined ('golden') caster sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 TBSP Demerara or turbinado sugar

Instructions
 

  • Crumble the bread into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the milk and continue crumbling the bread until it has completely broken down. Stir in the mixed spice, cinnamon and dried fruits. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Grease and line a 20cm / 8 inch square baking tin with non-stick baking paper. Leave some paper overhanging the edges for easy removal.
  • Add the citrus zest, oil and sugar to the mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined, then tip into the prepared tin. Press down and level with a spatula. Sprinkle the Demerara sugar evenly on top. Bake for 1½ hours, or until a skewer inserted through the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool completely, then remove from the tin and slice.
  • Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the bread pudding will keep for a week. It also freezes well.
Keyword Dairy-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Bread Pudding, Vegan Snacks, Vegan Treats

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If you make this Old Fashioned English Bread Pudding (or any other recipes on my blog), I’d love to hear your feedback and any suggestions for adaptations! Tag your photos with #bitofthegoodstuff on social media and they will find their way to me. You can also connect with me on my social media channels here: InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest.   

With love,

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