I was going to blog properly about this but when it came to it, I realised that bun and butter pudding is actually really ugly. It's brown and stodgy and in artificial lighting is really just horrendous. It really isn't the most appealing thing to see when you open up my home page.
I was trying to tell my friend the other day that we eat with our eyes. In all honesty we don't read cookbooks, we look at the pretty pictures, go ooh and aah and give ourselves empty promises of one day making that such dish at an attempt to justify the book's purchase.
Unless you are me and do actually love 'reading' cookbooks because you are a weirdo.
Some cookbooks are in fact good reads. My personal favourites, How to be a domestic goddess and Ladies, a plate, are excellent examples of brilliant cookbooks to read. Nigella is so reassuring and personable while Alexa Johnston reminds you of the historical significance and role her dishes have played in New Zealand history.
On that note of New Zealand history I can bring to your attention the origins of bread and butter pudding (from what I can remember from my favourite food history lectures back in second year). Waste not, want not, as my grandmother always says, was the mantra behind traditional puddings. In a time where food was not in as much excess or as readily available as it is now, any left overs were put to use somewhere else. "Back in the day" a working man's energy requirements were a whole lot greater than today's office drone diet of flat whites and subway. Turning stale bread into an energy dense pudding was a great way of preventing waste while also making sure that the family got their daily energy requirements. Win win!
I made hot cross buns the other day and like all home baked breads, they went stale very quickly. So the next day when a few of the boys came round, I turned our stale buns into a spicy take on the white bread tradition.
I based my recipe upon Alexa Johnston's in What's for pudding? and used plenty of sultanas but used low fat milk instead of cream (hey it was a last minute pudding making session). I probably should have added more milk but thats ok, I was slightly haphazard adding estimations of whatever. But here is what I think you should add . . .
Bun and Butter Pudding
8 large, stale hot cross buns, sliced into 1cm thick slices
butter to spread the slices with
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup sultanas or currants
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter the bread slices and arrange loosely in a 20x30cm baking dish.
Warm the milk in a saucepan and dissolve the sugar into it. While the milk is warm (but not hot!) whisk in the eggs and cinnamon.
Pour this egg and milk mixture over the slices of hot cross buns and scatter over the sultanas. Leave the Bread to soak up the milk for a good half hour before baking at 180 degrees for 40 minutes or until the liquid is no longer runny.
Serve with a wee bit of milk poured over the top or some vanilla ice cream.