How to turn stale bread into a winning savoury pudding – recipe

James Ramsden’s latest cookbook, Every Last Crumb, shows how bread is more than just the sum of its parts. He guides us through the life of a loaf, from a fresh, springy crumb to a tough crust, and demonstrates how, at each stage of its life, it can be made into a plethora of wildly comforting recipes. Every angle is covered, from traditional Spanish salmorejo sauce to quirky flummadiddle, a type of savoury bread pudding made with pork, warm spices, molasses and stale bread.

Ramsden’s flummadiddle features a whole piece of roast pork belly, but I’ve adapted it to make a lighter breakfast version using bacon and sausages, though if you do happen to have some cooked pork belly to hand, by all means shred it and add to the mix instead of the bacon and sausages.

A flummadiddle fry-up

To my mind, a slice of bread and butter is the pinnacle of culinary perfection, but, with a pinch of imagination, a chunk of tradition and a handful of confidence, there are so many other dishes bread (and even stale bread) can be turned into. Flummadiddle is a creative dish both by name and by nature, and I’ve read precious little about it other than a couple of creative interpretations of its description on Wikipedia. It’s a type of bread pudding made with pork fat instead of butter, and Ramsden’s version involves roasting pork belly on top, so the fat renders and soaks into the bread,so basting everything while it cooks.

I’ve taken his dish and turned it into a speedy breakfast take on the original, a one-pot fry-up that’s a lovely way to feed a crowd with little fuss. And if you have a houseful eating breakfast as and when, it keeps well in a warm oven, too. It’s easily adaptable for vegetarians or vegans as well, by using butter or olive oil instead of the pork fat and mushrooms and tempeh instead of the meat.

Serves 2

60g bacon lardons or streaky bacon, cut into strips
2 sausages, or 100g sliced black pudding
20g butter
4 slices stale bread
(I used wholemeal spelt), cut into triangles
1 egg
180ml whole milk
A pinch of ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground allspice
A pinch of ground cloves
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp black strap molasses or treacle
6 cherry tomatoes, halved

In a medium-hot frying pan, fry the bacon and sausages in the butter until caramelised and cooked through. Remove the meat from the pan and cut the sausages into pieces. Use the bread to mop up all the rendered pork fat left in the pan.

In a jug or bowl, lightly beat the egg, milk and ground spices until well combined, then season generously.

Lay half the bread in the bottom of a small, ovenproof dish, scatter over half the meat, and top first with the remaining bread and then the remaining meat. Pour over the custard mix, drizzle over the molasses, if using, and arrange the cherry tomatoes halves on top. Bake in a 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 oven for 15 minutes, and serve hot with mushroom or tomato ketchup.