Scarborough Fair - Savoury Bacon, Onion and Herb Bread Pudding

"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!"
photo by alenafoodphoto photo by alenafoodphoto
photo by alenafoodphoto
photo by twissis photo by twissis
photo by Caroline Cooks photo by Caroline Cooks
photo by Caroline Cooks photo by Caroline Cooks
photo by alenafoodphoto photo by alenafoodphoto
Ready In:
1hr 50mins




  • Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  • Grease a large baking dish or tray about 12" by 8" in size.
  • Tear the bread into small pieces and pour the hot stock over the bread - mix well and allow to soak for about 1 hour.
  • 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.
  • Add the bacon and onion mixture to the soaked bread and mix well.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients - continue to mix them together thoroughly.
  • 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.
  • Take out of the oven and allow to "rest" for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.
  • Serves 4 people as a light supper or lunch dish with gravy and 6 people as an appetiser, also with gravy if you wish.
  • Also great for picnics, brunch or breakfast.

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  1. Herby and yummy!
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. I thought this was very good--I used a leftover stale loaf of french bread that I cubed and let dry (that is how my mother does it, so that is how I do it...) and then used 4 cups of vegetable broth for the liquid. I also used 1 1/2 lbs of bacon (DH loves bacon!) and the written amount of herbs, but in dried form, with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. We enjoyed this, though I think there is a slight something missing to make it perfect. Thank you!
  5. Really yummy! I won't be using as much butter next time and I think 2 eggs and 1 egg white would work well as well


<p><strong><span>The sunflowers in the field behind my house in SW France:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Sunflowers src= alt=Sunflowers width=640 height=480 /><br /><strong><span><br /><br />I am British (English-Scottish), but I was born in South Africa and have lived all over the world, including Hong Kong, Germany, Cyprus, USA &amp; Singapore. I have also been very fortunate to have travelled extensively over the years.........I still have wanderlust! <br /><br />I used to be an English Literature &amp; Art History teacher &amp; lecturer; before that, I trained and worked as a Graphic Designer for many years. I now live in France with my husband &amp; my daughter who has just started university in September 2006. We also have one very chatty Burmese cat Willow, who allows us to live with her here! (I used to have three cats, I recently lost Monty, a beautiful seal point Siamese and before that, Rama, who was a debonair blue point Siamese cat - I would love to have another Siamese cat or cats in the future!)</span></strong></p> <p><em><strong><span>This is my Burmese Cat, Willow, sunning herself on the log pile in the kitchen garden:</span></strong></em></p> <p><strong><img title=My src= alt=My width=640 height=480 /></strong></p> <p><strong><span>Here is my lovely Monty, a seal point Siamese, and Willow, sitting&nbsp;in the kitchen garden last year, and a few months before Monty died; he was 18yrs old:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Monty src= alt=Monty width=640 height=480 />My</p> <p><strong><span>This is my wonderful old boy, Rama, a blue-point Siamese, who died when he was 20yrs old - excuse the old and much sellotaped photo:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Rama src= alt=Rama width=517 height=639 /></p> <p><strong><span>My favourite pastimes are: reading, writing, painting &amp; drawing, photography, gardening, anything creative, walking, travelling, dining out and of course COOKING! I love all types of cuisine, but especially Traditional British - and NO it is NOT all bad!! I particularly love food associated with the changing seasons plus traditional feasts &amp; festivals, as well as Slow Cooking. I also enjoy French &amp; North African cuisine, come to think of it, there isn't much I don't like! <br /><br />My husband &amp; I run a Chambres D'Hotes, (Bed and Breakfast) called Auberge de la Fontaine here in beautiful South West France; we specialise in Gourmet Food &amp; Wine Breaks, French Antiques &amp; Restoration courses, French Language courses and French Cookery classes. Our home is completely furnished with Antique French furniture that we have rescued &amp; restored ourselves. Our charming village has one of the oldest Churches in the region &amp; it is famous for its connection with the St.Jacques de Compostella Pilgrimage route, as well as being within the Cognac &amp; Bordeaux wine growing area. <br /><br />We have a wonderful garden where we grow ALL of our own herbs and most of our fruit and vegetables. I specialise in rare, unusual and old-fashioned herbs, which I grow in our walled garden. As well as growing herbs, I also grow many different varieties of lavender, old-fashioned shrub roses and heirloom fruit and vegetables. <br /><br />We have lived overseas for many, many years now - but we both still love going home to Northern England, near Scarborough &amp; York, to visit our family &amp; friends. We also love indulging in dining out when we are there, in a wide variety of EXCELLENT Gastro-Pubs that we have in North Yorkshire; and popping in to have a Pint of REAL ENGLISH ALE in our local pub is a always a must!! <br /></span></strong></p> <p><br /><a href= target=_blank><img src= border=0 alt=merci /></a> <br /><br /><strong><span>A Message to all who make and review my recipes! I try very hard to reply to EACH and EVERYONE of you who kindly makes, reviews and photographs my recipes! However, sometimes I am so busy in the B and B, and with other things, that I may be late in sending a personal thank you message, and sometimes I forget completely! I would just like to thank you ALL in advance, and just in case I am late or forgetful in sending a personal thanks. I am always very humbled by anyone who chooses to make one of my recipes, and I love reading the reviews and seeing the beautiful photos that are posted. Merci beaucoup encore! <br /><br />A note about my recipes. All of my posted recipes, whether they be my own concoctions or adaptations from a book or a famous chef, have been tried and tested at least once, by ME! I try to make sure that I am the guinea pig and not you! However, if there is anything you would like ask me about one of my recipes, or a query that I may be able to help you with, please do write and I will try to answer your question as soon as possible. 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