A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Traditional Bread Pudding Recipe

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

First up, bread pudding is nothing like bread and butter pudding. 

Food of the 1940s - Bread pudding is quite dense and stodgy, and is often served warm or cold with a cuppa.

Traditional old fashioned bread pudding. Pictured cut into slices.
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Popular during wartime 1940s because it was cheap to make and one slice was quite filling. It's a great way of using up stale bread.

Source: wiki 

Food historians trace the history of bread pudding to the early 11th and 12th centuries, as frugal cooks looked for ways to use stale, leftover bread instead of letting it go to waste.

In 13th century England, bread pudding was known as 'poor man’s pudding,' as it was a popular dish with the lower classes.

I hadn't had bread pudding for years, until a couple of weeks ago when I made Bacon and Onion Roly Poly Pudding got me thinking about the food we had when I was a kid.

If you've never had bread pudding you haven't lived, and have certainly been missing out!

My nan used to make this and of course, so did my mum. I'm not one for cakes or puddings, but bread pudding is a glorious thing.

Hot or cold, this is good stuff, it's proper old-fashioned food. Oh, and when it's cooking, your kitchen will smell amazing.

Nothing fancy about bread pudding and certainly, no cooking skills are needed.

What is the best bread to make bread pudding?

Any regular crusty loaf such as a bloomer (not the pre-sliced sandwich bread) but it's important that it's 2 or 3 days old.

Can you freeze it?

I know people that have frozen it once it's completely cold. I've never tried so I can't comment but my thinking is why would you want to freeze it?

It's so delicious, that we never have any leftovers to freeze!

What's one of your favourite foods you remember from when you were a kid?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

There are relatively few ingredients 

Bread pudding ingredients

  • stale loaf of bread
  • milk
  • egg 
  • soft brown sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • butter


Traditional bread pudding.

Do let me know if you make it!

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

old fashioned bread pudding, traditional bread pudding, bread pudding recipe, 1940s bread pudding, UK food,
snack, dessert
Yield: 12
Author: Jan Bennett
Traditional 1940s Bread Pudding Recipe

Traditional 1940s Bread Pudding Recipe

Make this and your kitchen will smell amazing! There's nothing fancy about bread pudding and certainly, no cooking skills are needed.
Prep time: 35 MinCook time: 1 H & 15 MInactive time: 25 MinTotal time: 2 H & 15 M


  • 400g stale loaf of bread
  • 285ml of milk
  • 1 egg - free range, of course
  • 60g of soft brown sugar
  • 340g mixed fruit
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons mixed spice
  • 115g melted butter


Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F or Gas 4
  1. Cut the crusts off of the bread and cut it into small cubes and tip it into a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat the milk till almost boiling then pour it over the bread and leave it to soak for about 30 minutes; be sure to soak it otherwise the recipe will not work.
  3. Using your hands squish the bread between your fingers so there are no lumps. Now beat in the egg.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients except the butter.
  5. Mix well then beat in the butter.
  6. Pour into a greased 22cm (9 inches) square tin and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours or springy to the touch. You should be able to insert a skewer and it comes out clean. You might want to line your baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  7. Leave in the tin to cool a bit before turning out onto a wire rack.
  8. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top and eat either hot or cold.
Did you make this recipe?
@aglugofoil # aglugofoil


  1. This sounds beautiful ... definitely going to be making me some of this !!

  2. This sounds delicious
    Not had a homemade version for about 20 years going to make this thanks for the easy recipe x

  3. nice recipe... it is like the Maltese Bread Pudding.

    1. Cheers JB, I didn't realise they had a similar pudding in Malta, thank you.

  4. I've always made mine soaking bread in water (like Grandma). My OH likes to see as well as taste the fruit so extra goes in! I have frozen a large one and it defrosted well. (Illness cancelling gathering��) enjoy....

  5. Just popped it into the oven. Should be done for 10pm tonight. It smells devine and can't wait to devour it. Oh and I've never made it before 😁

    1. Dean, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, do let me know if it was okay?!

  6. I made this last night and it is absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. It reminded me of the pudding my nan used to make in the 70's

    1. So pleased you liked it, thanks for taking the time to let me know! Much appreciated.

  7. I'd already soaked my bread in water, as an old English rellie showed me, but then I found your recipe. So I squeezed it out, and followed your recipe, adding less milk, but still added 1 grated apple. It turned out amazing - much nicer and less doughy. I added cinnamon sugar on top. Thank you so much for your great recipe.

    1. Thanks Judith-Ann I'm so glad you liked the recipe!

    2. I'm not sure how authentic this recipe is for the 1940's as butter was very tightly rationed and my understanding was that suet was used to make this pudding and water not milk. It was a cheap but yummy pudding and was also known as Dockers Wedding Cake as very popular with Londoners.

    3. Being born in 1941, I remember this bread pudding well, having collected a lot of stale bread that I did not want to throw away, I decided to make it from memory! I had all the ingredients including vegetable oil and beef suet. Vegetable suet in 1940 was probably unknown so I used a packet of beef suet. I should have read your recipe first, but soaked my bread in water then squeezed it out and after reading your recipe added some milk and an egg, both of which may not have been available at that time. All your other ingredients were the same except my quantities were by feel! I cook with feeling and inspiration! 😉ðŸĪŠ. It’s in the oven now so fingers crossed ðŸĪž

    4. Hi Bumbleboo! Do let me know how it went.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I've added a link to them in the ingredients in the main post.

  9. Would sourdough bread work for this recipe?

    1. You 'could' use sourdough bread - But would totally alter the taste and not for the better.

  10. I live in Yucatan Mexico, the best bakery in town is 2 doors down, they sell every variety except all sourdough based. My Nan made me this in Southwark so I 'x try the Campesino and hope it works, TY

  11. Hi all made it again today! How ironic it was 2 yrs ago that I first commented. Much bigger portion than before so we await the results in a couple of hours!

    1. 2 years ago - wow! Glad you liked it enough to make it again x


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