How to upcycle stale bread – recipe

Bread-and-butter pudding is the ultimate way to upcycle stale bread into a simple but luxurious dessert: the bread acts like a sponge, becoming as one with the custard while it bakes, and goes gooey and soft. I love it cold, straight from the fridge, in a greedy, doorstep-sized slab.

Even a traditional bread-and-butter pud, filled with plump sultanas and topped with a dusting of spicy nutmeg, is divine, but, with a little imagination, this pudding has almost unlimited potential. Instead of a traditional custard, today I’ve gone plant-based: blended brown bananas and omega 3-rich flax seeds provide an affordable egg substitute, while oat and soy replace dairy, creating a rich, velvety custard. I’m a chocolate fiend, so I’ve added chocolate chips and cocoa, too. Experiment with different types of bread (from brioche to cinnamon buns) and other ingredients from your pantry that need using up, such as dried or seasonal fruit, nuts and sweet spices.

This is my souped-up version of a classic bread-and-butter pudding. It’s a chocolate, brown banana and sourdough bread pudding, which I like to make with wholemeal bread for added nutrition, texture and flavour. I’ve made it plant-based, because it’s just as delicious and even cheaper to make, but, if you prefer, by all means substitute for dairy and eggs. Either way, be warned: this one is hard to resist.

300g stale sourdough (preferably wholemeal)
50g sultanas
100g dark chocolate
, roughly chopped
2 brown bananas
60ml yoghurt
(plant-based or dairy)
220ml milk (plant-based or dairy)
40g unrefined sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
mixed with 75ml water (or 2 large eggs)
Yoghurt or cream (plant-based or dairy), to serve (optional)

Grease a 1kg bread tin with olive oil and heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6.

Chop the bread into rough cubes and put it in a bowl with the sultanas and chopped chocolate. Blend the brown bananas, yoghurt (plant-based or dairy), milk (plant-based or dairy whole milk), sugar, cocoa powder, sea salt and soaked flax seeds (or eggs). Stir this into the bread mixture, then pour everything into the greased tin and bake for 40 minutes. Serve immediately, or leave to cool, put in the fridge to set, then slice and serve with yoghurt or cream.




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