DRAGONQUEEN'S BREAD PUDDING RECIPE
Every time I looked for a bread pudding recipe on the web I found recipes that called themselves traditional British "Bread Pudding" recipes (yeah, like pecans and blueberries are traditional British ingredients!) but were really "Bread and Butter Pudding". Will those darn Yanks please get it into their heads that traditional British Bread Pudding is a solid pudding, brownish in colour, eaten by the slice. A chunk of bread pud is a whole meal in itself. The sloppier custard-style pudding is NOT bread pudding, it's bread-and-butter pudding and it isn't anywhere near as nice.
Finally I found a recipe for the real thing. The recipe was hard to find because bread pud is the sort of thing where cooks guess the amounts until the consistency feels right, an art passed from mother to daughter, and it doesn't seem to be written down in many place. It's a way of using up leftover bread.
Here's a basic recipe in good old British weights and measures. If you have a freezer, store leftover bread in a sealed bag or tub until you have enough to make a pudding. If you can't wait or you don't have leftovers in your household, get a cheap loaf from the supermarket.
8 oz plain bread (stale bread is fine, white or brown)
1 oz shredded suet (packet kind is fine)
1 or 2 teaspoon mixed spice
3 oz soft brown sugar
4 oz sultanas or mixed dried fruit
You can add Guinness to the soaking liquid. You can use different spices e.g. nutmeg or allspice. You can reduce the amount of sugar and use more spices. Grated apple will sweeten it, but also adds moisture. If your puddings don't set firm, squeeze out more liquid next time and/or add a little flour.
Crumb some bread (the heavier the better) in a food processor or similar. Add water, beer or cider until it reaches a "stodgy" consistency.
Add dried fruit, weight for weight with the soggy breadcrumb mixture, spice and sugar to taste and mix thoroughly.
Bung it in a dish in a relatively slow oven and let it stew for an hour or two until it dries out and browns. Sprinkle with sugar, leave to cool and admire your handiwork.