About 10 1 inch/2½ cm thick slices of day-old challah with the crusts removed
Softened butter (to spread on the bread)
4 large eggs
¾ cup sugar (plus a little more to sprinkle over the bread before baking)
4 cups milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
A sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
How to do it
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
2. Thoroughly butter a large baking dish (about 30 cm/12 inch in diameter).
3. Slice each piece of bread in half and generously butter one side. Place each piece buttered side up in one layer at the bottom of the baking dish, making sure the whole surface is covered with bread. Slice more bread if required and push smaller bits of bread into any remaining spaces.
4. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and nutmeg till combined. Pour the mixture over the bread. Sprinkle each piece of bread lightly with some extra sugar.
5. Place the dish in a large oven tray (preferably one that slides into the railings on the side of your oven). Put it in the oven and pour hot water into the oven tray (not into the baking dish!), until the water come about halfway up the side of the baking dish, creating a “bain marie”. This will keep the pudding from drying out as it bakes. Turn down the oven to 160°C (325°F) and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pudding is golden brown. It will puff up in the oven, and will then sink a little when it cools, so don’t worry – it still tastes great.
Serve hot or cold. Serves about 8.