Scarborough Fair - Savoury Bacon, Onion and Herb Bread Pudding

Total Time
1hr 50mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 50 mins

I named this dish after my home town, Scarborough, in the North of England - and yes, they really do have a "Scarborough Fayre" every year! And, this recipe does contain "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme"! This is a very old recipe for savoury bread pudding - often served before the meal, just as Yorkshire Pudding used to be, to take the edge of your appetite & stop you eating too much meat! I added the bacon, but normally it is just made with pounded stale bread mixed with herbs, chives or onions, eggs and any dripping that was available. A delicious savoury dish - serve it with lashings of onion gravy as a light supper, brunch or lunch dish, or as an appetiser, also with gravy. This makes a wonderful accompaniment to roast pork and roast chicken. I have also been known to eat slices of this cold & it's ideal for picnics. Don't throw your crusts away, but process them in a food mixer and freeze them in zip-lock bags.....voila, ready made bread crumbs!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  2. Grease a large baking dish or tray about 12" by 8" in size.
  3. Tear the bread into small pieces and pour the hot stock over the bread - mix well and allow to soak for about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the bacon over a medium to high heat; as soon as the fat starts to run, add the chopped onions. Stirring the bacon and onions constantly, cook them together for about 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the bacon is crisp.
  5. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the soaked bread and mix well.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients - continue to mix them together thoroughly.
  7. Pour the bread pudding into the greased dish or tray, level the mixture out with a spoon and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until well risen, firm to the touch and golden brown.
  8. Take out of the oven and allow to "rest" for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.
  9. Serves 4 people as a light supper or lunch dish with gravy and 6 people as an appetiser, also with gravy if you wish.
  10. Also great for picnics, brunch or breakfast.


Most Helpful

It's a cold, rainy night, and this recipe has long looked to me like real comfort food. Tonight at last it was made, to go with a lemon-herb roast chicken, brussels sprouts, and a mixed salad. I followed instructions, but had doubts about the bread: our usual brown "government loaf" as we call it. As I followed the recipe, my doubts increased. I thought: "This kite won't fly", as my son puts it when something does not work. I used only 2 large onions, purely because the sweet onion season has passed, I only have strong onions, and after peeling and chopping two, my eyes were burning and I was in tears ...!! And so I carried on, doubtful, having visions of throwing all this out to the birds and never mentioning that I tried the recipe. Well... it baked alongside the chicken (convection ovens are great!) and looked fine when done. Then I found out that DH would not be home for a long while and it had to sit in a warming oven with the rest of the food for ... at least 1 1/2 hours! The rain poured down as we sat down to eat. To my surprise we found that this "bread pudding" was absolutely great!! A wonderful side dish which reminded me so much of my mother's chicken stuffing. VERY comforting and a nice carb change instead of potatoes or rice. I did use quite a lot more fresh herbs than stated: the fresh sage, Italian parsley and origanum just smelled so fantastic as I chopped it! I did not have fresh rosemary, so used more origanum. I also added a little garlic. With this dish, and the chicken, in the oven, the house smelled heavenly and I could almost see the scent wafting out the windows in the grey weather! I think this would be equally good with any "old" or plain white bread. I am afraid, very afraid, of the leftovers, and how much I love leftovers for breakfast ... We are only two in tne house, and I made the entire large recipe ... I'll roll down your driveway one of these days, French Tart!!! NB, LATEST REPORT: DH said to post that the leftovers I heated up last night was almost better than the fresh pudding! He scoffed the lot, as snacks, even long after I went to bed!!! POSTED 5 JAN 2008: Made this for a game in the Photo Forum yet again (maybe 3rd or 4th time!!) It's as great as always. Perfect, perfect comfort food, redolent of childhood winters. One bit of advice: as before I use MUCH more fresh chopped herbs than in the recipe. It is fantastic to actually taste the different herbs in this Medieval-type dish. I probably used considerably more than 1 tablespoon, chopped, of the herbs. We are only two people eating, and there will be leftovers, and that will be my breakfast. (Groannnn .... ) I'll never be thin again ... LOL!

Zurie January 05, 2008

Not our cup of tea, tasted way to like stuffing, which was enough to put me off as I don't fancy eating stuffing as a meal or snack!

cstevens82 November 25, 2012

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