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Leek and cheddar bread and butter pudding

We love a sweet bread and butter pudding, and the technique also lends itself well to savoury recipes. This version is all cheesy goodness, and makes for a perfect brunch dish - especially topped with leg ham and lightly pickled fennel to cut through the richness. A poached egg would make a welcome addition. Any leftovers are delicious pan-fried in a little butter.

You'll need

50 gm butter, coarsely chopped, plus extra for greasing 2 leeks, coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tbsp finely chopped thyme 300 gm crème fraîche or sour cream 2 eggs 2 egg yolks 2 tsp Dijon mustard 200 ml pouring cream 140 gm coarsely grated vintage cheddar 2 baby fennel bulbs, fronds reserved 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine vinegar ½ tsp caster sugar Finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil To serve: thickly sliced leg ham   Cheddar brioche 120 ml milk, lukewarm 10 gm caster sugar 5 gm (1¾ tsp) dried yeast 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour 100 gm butter, softened 80 gm crème fraîche 80 gm coarsely grated vintage cheddar 2 eggs, at room temperature


  • 01
  • For cheddar brioche, stir milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl to combine and stand in a warm place until foaming (4-5 minutes). Process flour, butter, crème fraîche, cheddar and 2 tsp sea salt in a food processor to combine. Add yeast mixture and eggs, process to combine, then stand at room temperature, still in the food processor and with the lid on, until the dough doubles in size (45 minutes to 1 hour). Pulse dough in the food processor to knock it back, turn onto a floured surface and roll with your hands to form a 20cm-long cylinder. Place in a 10cm-deep, 8.5cm x 22cm loaf tin buttered and lined with baking paper, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until risen by half (40-45 minutes). Preheat oven to 180C and bake until a skewer withdraws clean and bread is golden (45 minutes to 1 hour), cool slightly in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 02
  • Cut brioche into rough 2.5cm cubes, spread on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake, shaking occasionally, until golden and toasted (8-10 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming, then add leek and garlic and stir occasionally until very tender (6-8 minutes). Add thyme, stir occasionally until fragrant, season to taste and set aside to cool.
  • 04
  • Reduce oven to 150C. Whisk crème fraîche, eggs, yolks and mustard in a bowl until smooth, whisk in cream, season to taste and set aside.
  • 05
  • Wipe out the loaf tin the brioche was baked in, butter and line it with fresh baking paper. Scatter 50gm cheddar in the base, top with half the leek mixture then half the brioche cubes. Repeat layering, then pour egg mixture over and press to submerge brioche. Stand to soak (30 minutes; some brioche cubes will rise to the surface – this is okay, because they’ll become crunchy when baked). Scatter with remaining cheddar and bake until golden and a skewer withdraws clean (1-1¼ hours). Set aside to cool in tin (15 minutes).
  • 06
  • Meanwhile, thinly shave fennel on a mandolin and combine with fennel fronds, vinegar, sugar, lemon rind and juice in a bowl, season to taste and stand to lightly pickle (15-20 minutes). Add oil, stir to combine and set aside.
  • 07
  • Thickly slice bread and butter pudding and serve warm topped with ham and pickled fennel.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Pints of English bitter.

Featured in

Jul 2013

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