Thursday, 1 August 2013

Gluten Free Savoury Bread and Butter Pudding

This recipe was born out of a unconscious challenge set by my friend and uni housemate Lauren. We were talking one day about various gluten free foods and I asked how different the breads tasted to normal breads and Lauren mentioned that the Glutafin fibre rolls were pretty manky. (Actually that aren't the exact words Lauren used but I can hardly repeat them verbatim here.) With that in mind I wondered how I could make them more acceptable and seeing as I had recently made a savoury bread and butter pudding, or Charlotte if you prefer, and loved it I couldn't see why it wouldn't work with gluten free bread, even the bad tasting stuff. So yep, definitely one of those 'challenge accepted' moments.

The other beauty about this recipe is that you can use all sorts of ingredients as the fillings and it is perfect for using up leftovers. Plus, it doesn't have to be exact quantities so it is really easy to make it bigger or smaller depending on how many you want to feed, hence why I haven't given exact values below. You can use any sort of bread you wish in place of the gluten free fibre rolls, and nope, gluten free isn't mandatory. When I served this up a couple of days ago Mum said she wouldn't have known it was gluten free at all. The eggy bits go lovely and soft and squidgy while the sticky uppy parts go wonderfully crunchy and because those are my favourite bits I always cut the bread into triangles so there are a good number of spikes to get good and toasted. Naturally, when I got hold of some of these infamous fibre rolls I had to try a before using them in this and I have to be honest and say I rather liked them. To be, they tasted more like normal granary bread than the gluten free fresh sliced loaf tasted like normal white bread. I even thought they made the dish taste better than the standard version because of the wholemeal flavour and the added texture from the oats and seeds. But you know, use whatever bread you have. It's all good!

Gluten free fibre rolls
Margarine (or butter if you want the extra calories flavour)
 Mustard (a lot of mustards are sneaky and use wheat flour so be careful if gluten free is necessary for you)
Grated cheese
Cream cheese
Black pepper
Dried herbs (use your favourites)

First, trim the fat off the bacon, cut into small pieces and dry fry until just cooked. Set aside to cool with any juices left in the pan. I deglazed the pan with a bit of water to get the lovely tasting bits off that are otherwise a devil to clean. Plus, seeing as it is dry fried, you know that very little of those bits is fat so you needn't feel guilty about it.

Grease an ovenproof dish with marg and set on a baking tray then slice the fibre rolls into three:
Spread the slices with marg then mustard, how much you want depending how strongly you want the flavour to come through. A little mustard if you just want to enhance the cheesiness, a lot if you want it to be a prominent flavour. Next, slice them into triangles and arrange in the dish.

Distribute the bacon bits, sweetcorn and grated cheese between the bread, tucking some in between the slices to make sure everyone gets a good amount. 

Beat a blob of Philly in a jug so it is much softer then whisk in the eggs, milk, herbs and pepper and carefully pour over the bread. The amount needed depends on the size of dish you are using. I used 3 eggs I think and, erm, maybe 150ml of milk for a dish that served three adults with baked beans on the side. I know I should've written this down but I've made enough egg based things now to judge it by eye.

Leave the pudding alone while the oven heats to 180 C/160 C fan. You can leave it longer if you wish because all that happens is that the bread soaks up the egg mixture which is supposed to make it extra nice. When ready to bake, do so in the oven until it has puffed up and the egg has set when a small cut is made into the top. The length of time varies depending on the egg/milk ratio and the size of the pudding. I'd say check after half an hour and if it looks as if it is nowhere near ready turn the temperature up by 10 degrees. Sometimes it is really frustrating when yuo a particularly hungry and it seems to be refusing to cook. Keep checking though and serve with whatever you like such as beans, mushy peas, salad etc. My favourite is lashings of tomato sauce.

...tuna, tomato and marmite
...tuna and sweetcorn
...bacon, fried mushrooms and peas
...bacon, cheese, fried onions and cream for a bread and butter Lorraine
...shredded chicken and leeks
...whatever you fancy

 Have fun experimenting!

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