Bay Leaf and Garlic Bread Pudding


This is a recipe local legend Mary Ellis, formerly of Cliffy’s and Liberty House, loaned to baker Phillippa Grogan and writer Richard Cornish when they wrote Phillippa’s Home Baking. When you’re left with too much sour dough bread and the cupboard is otherwise bare, try this rich and savoury bread and butter pudding that goes especially well with veal, pork and duck dishes but also makes a filling main meal for vegetarians.


Serves 8

1.5 litres milk

4 bay leaves

12 peppercorns

2 cloves garlic, crushed

butter, for spreading and dotting

500g 2-day-old bread, cut into 1cm thick slices

8 eggs

1 teaspoon salt 

50g parmesan, grated


Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. Place over high heat, then just before the milk comes to the boil, reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for an hour to infuse the flavours into the milk and allow the liquid to reduce. Strain the milk into a heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool. 

Preheat the oven to 160˚C/140˚C fan. Butter a heavy 30 cm x 20 cm x 7 cm ovenproof dish.

Liberally butter the bread and line the dish with the bread, butter-side up, leaving no gaps. Break the eggs into the milk, add the salt and whisk until smooth. Pour the custard over the bread, dot the top generously with butter and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes or until the custard has set and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before serving. 

Phillippa’s Home Baking by Phillippa Grogan and Richard Cornish is published by Penguin Lantern