Did you know that 20 million slices of bread are wasted in the UK every day? This tasty and flexible recipe is great for using up dried bread and cheese, milk, yoghurt etc.
dry/stale bread (crusts are great as they add texture to the dish)
garlic butter/oil (optional)
For the sauce: any combination of eggs (or soaked chia seeds if vegan), milk (dairy or non-dairy), yoghurt, cream, water – with seasoning of choice eg chilli, mustard, nutritional yeast flakes, worcestershire sauce, boullion/stock powder
For the middle layer: texture from seeds/nuts (we usually use sunflower seeds), grated cheese, salsa optional
Slice the bread and spread with garlic butter/oil (optional). Place one layer of bread in a dish that fits in your air fryer or oven. If you have gaps between the slices fill them with small pieces of bread.
Mix your liquids (1 or 2 eggs, milk/yoghurt – or soaked chia seeds and vegetable stock) until you have a consistency of single cream. Add grated cheese, chilli sauce/grain mustard to taste (remember the flavour will dilute in the dish). You need about 200ml of liquid for a dish that is 14cm diameter x 6cm high.
Pour liquid over the first layer of bread. If your bread is very dry leave for 10 – 20 minutes before proceeding and top up liquid during that time as it is absorbed into the bread.
Sprinkle with something crunchy like sunflower seeds or chopped nuts, plus grated cheese, and a little bit of salsa/chutney that needs using up.
Place another layer of sliced bread on top and pour over your liquid and leave to soak again if it is very dry.
You want the liquid soaked into the bread rather than visible in the dish otherwise you get a soggy outside and it adds to the cooking time. Any leftover liquid that you don’t need can be added to thicken soup. Leave for 10 mins to soak through and stab bread with a fork/knife to encourage soaking.
Cook in air fryer at 180° until top is golden (about 20 mins). Or pop in a 180 oven for 30 mins – then grill to crisp the top. Either way, sprinkle top with grated cheese 5 minutes before cooking is finished (if you put the cheese on at the beginning it might burn before the dish is cooked through).
When you slice the bread and butter pudding you might find that the bottom is still moist. If you want you can place the slices upside down in the air fryer/oven to crisp them up a bit.
Delicious served hot, cold or room temperature.