I feel that bread and butter pudding is a classic and so had to be made into a cookie. I needed to incorporate bread as it's the foundation of the bread and butter pudding but I didn't want to pan fry bread or include breadcrumbs, and so ended up coming up with a recipe for making oven baked French toast. The bread is soaked in instant custard and seasoned with nutmeg to give that faux baked feel but also give the cookies a bit of crunch.
Soaking Time 1 hour
Hands-on Time 30 minutes plus chilling (overnight)
Baking Time 51 minutes
500ml Boiling water
100g plus 2 tbsp Custard powder
175g plus 2 tbsp Caster sugar
250ml Full-fat milk
4 tsp Vanilla extract
4 Slices of bread, thick cut
4 tsp Demerara sugar
1/4 tsp plus a pinch Ground nutmeg 250g Unsalted butter (softened)
200g Light brown sugar
2 Eggs, large
300g Plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp Fine salt
Baking sheet (ideally aluminium)
Freestanding mixer with paddle
Brew the teabags in boiling water for 15 minutes.
Remove and strain the teabags when the time has passed.
Add the sultanas and leave to soak for at least an hour.
While they soak preheat your oven to 170°C/150°C(Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Line your baking sheet with a piece of parchment.
Add two tablespoons of custard powder and two tablespoons of caster sugar to a wide-shallow bowl.
Gently whisk whilst adding the milk followed by two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Take a piece of bread, dunk one side into the egg mix before flipping it over and dunking the other. Let the excess mixture drip off, and place the slice down onto the lined sheet. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg over the bread along with two teaspoons of demerara sugar.
Pop the sheet into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes.
When the time has passed flip the bread over, sprinkle over the remaining two teaspoons of demerara sugar, and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the bread and leave to cool.
Take a knife and chop the bread up into bite sized squares.
Add the butter, light brown sugar, and 175 grams of caster sugar to the bowl of the mixer and beat on a medium-high speed for 5 minutes until you have a very light and fluffy mixture.
Add two teaspoons of vanilla extract and two large eggs and beat for a couple of seconds until combined.
Add the flour, 100 grams of custard power, bicarb, and salt and beat for a couple of seconds until combined. Scrape the sides down using a spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.
Squeeze out the sultanas and add them along with the chunks of toasted bread to the dough and give a final mix.
Take a sheet of baking parchment and place the dough onto. Shape the dough into a wide, long sausage and roll up before popping it into fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Take the dough out of the fridge, slice into 16 equal rounds. Roll each round into a ball and place onto the lined baking sheet.
Pop the sheet back into the fridge, ideally overnight, so the dough balls can firm up.
When you are ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Slide the baking sheet out of the fridge and leave the dough balls on the shelf.
Once the oven has warmed up line the baking sheet with another piece of parchment.
Place approx 6/8 balls spaced about 10cm apart from each other onto the baking parchment.
Pop the tray into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 16 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven. Slide the parchment carefully, with the cookies, onto the worktop. Re-line with more paper and bake your next batch.
After the cookies have rested for a couple of minutes they should be firm enough for you to transfer onto a wire rack to fully cool. Don’t forget they will get firmer as they cool, as tempting as it is to immediately eat them straight from the oven. Like some things in life, patience pays off.