It’s only natural that a nation celebrated for its prodigious tea consumption also has plenty of delicious recipes for bread.
According to Program Director, Fred Stride, from Grand Circle’s England, Scotland & Wales trip, English puddings rank as one of the best and most diverse in the world. Bread and Butter Pudding (not to be confused with Bread Pudding—which is essentially the same recipe, minus buttering the bread first) is one of England’s most loved and traditional desserts.
And as you travel west of England on our England, Scotland & Wales vacation, you will visit Wales. Program Director Ann Daley shares that many of her travelers say visiting Wales is one of the highlights of their tours, so she sent along a recipe for “Bara Brith,” the National Fruit Loaf of Wales (as it is often called). When she is leading a tour, Ann likes to buy this bread so that the group gets to sample a typical treat of Wales.
Bread & Butter Pudding
According to Program Director, Fred Stride, when made in the traditional way, bread and butter pudding is rich, filling, and perfect for cold winter nights.
1/4 stick butter, plus extra for greasing
8 thin slices of bread
1/3 cup sultanas (or raisins)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs granulated sugar
Grated nutmeg, to taste
- Grease a pie dish with butter.
- Cut the crusts off of the bread. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bead and then cut into triangles.
- Arrange a layer of bread, buttered-side up, in the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of sultanas (or raisins). Sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Repeat the layers of bread, sultanas (or raisins), and cinnamon until all of the bread slices are gone. Finish with a layer of bread and then set aside.
- Gently warm the milk in a pan over a low heat until you reach the scalding point—but don't let it boil.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, add 3/4 of the sugar, and lightly whisk until the mixture is pale.Add the warm milk and cream mixture and stir well. Strain the custard into a bowl.
- Pour the custard over the prepared bread layers and sprinkle with nutmeg and the remaining sugar. Let the dish stand for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the dish into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden brown.
Servings: About 6
Bara Brith (Welsh Fruit Bread)
In Welsh, “bara” means bread and “brith” means speckled. In the past, as the heat began to fade in a household stove, the stove was relit for baking once a week. When this happened, a handful of currants (or sultanas) was added to the last of the bread dough and this speckled bread became a treat for the family.
According to Program Director Ann Daley, this fruit bread is delicious when spread with butter.
2 cups mixed, dried fruit
1 1/4 cups tea
2 Tbsp marmalade
1 beaten egg
6 Tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp mixed spice *
2 cups self-raising flour **
Honey to glaze
* Mixed spice is a blend of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace, coriander seed, and allspice. You may substitute allspice or pumpkin pie spice for mixed spice if it is not available.
** Two cups of self-raising flour =2 cups all-purpose flour + 2 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt.
- Soak the dried fruit overnight in the tea.
- On the next day, mix the marmalade, egg, brown sugar, mixed spice, and flour together.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Spoon into a greased loaf tin and bake for one hour and 45 minutes or until the center is cooked through. Check periodically to make sure that the top does not brown too much (cover with a sheet of baking foil or move to a lower shelf in the oven if necessary).
- Let the Bara Brith stand for five minutes, then tip out of the tin onto a cooling tray.
- Using a pastry brush, glaze the top with honey.
- Serve sliced with butter (salted preferably). It can also be served with farmhouse cheddar cheese.
- Store in an airtight tin.
Try one of these traditional bread recipes from England and Wales when you travel with us on our England, Scotland & Wales vacation.