By Andrea of the OXO Tower Restaurant

Who doesn’t have stale bread lying around at home from time to time? This recipe is the perfect savoury alternative to its sweet and better-known counterpart. Use virtually any bread and add your favourite flavours as soon as you get the hang of the basic recipe below. We love serving it with a saucy dish, like a homemade ragout made from all the unused, sad-looking vegetables from the last corners of your fridge.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • Roughly 800g of stale bread (about 1 loaf)
  • 2 shallots
  • 200ml milk
  • 100g butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage or 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 apple
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp English mustard

Method

We recommend preparing the bread pudding a day before serving.

  1. Cut the crusts off the bread and soak in milk for a few minutes until the bread is soft but still has some texture. (This recipe is for a toast-style bread; if you wish to use a sourdough or more dense bread, you might need to soak the bread a little longer and cut the bread into 2 x 2cm pieces so it is easier to work in the ingredients later.)
  2. Separate the eggs and whisk the whites with a pinch of salt until they form peaks.
  3. Cook the shallots, garlic, apple and sage in butter over a low heat until the shallots are translucent.
  4. Squeeze any excess milk from the bread, then add the bread to the pan and roughly mix.
  5. Beat and add the egg yolk, horseradish and mustard and then fold in the egg whites.
  6. Pipe the mixture onto cling film (about 3 – 4cm diameter), roll mixture into the cling film and then into tin foil.
  7. Steam rolls for 30 minutes, then chill. (Alternatively, you can fill a lined casserole dish/cake tin and cover with tin foil and then steam in the oven.)
  8. Cut into 2 – 3cm thick slices, pan fry until golden and serve.