Bread of the seraglio

Enjoy an indulgent treat with Sophie Grigson's indulgent bread pudding, perfumed with rose and orange flower waters
By Sophie Grigson
Bread of the seraglio
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 loaf of day-old white bread, weighing about 400g
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 85 ml water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 100 ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp orange flower water
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 350 g clotted cream
  • 15 g pistachio nuts, finely chopped


1. Cut the crusts off the bread. Tear the bread into pieces and put in a bowl.

2. Put the sugar, water and lemon juice in a wide saucepan. Stir over a moderate heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

3. Bring the syrup to the boil and stop stirring it. Swirl and cook the syrup evenly, until caramelised.

4. Add the boiling water gradually, at arm's length. Stir the syrup until the caramel has all dissolved into the water.

5. Bring back to the boil and pour over the top of the bread. Mix well.

6. Return the bread and syrup to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes, mashing the bread with the back of the spoon, until it has soaked up all the syrup.

7. Stir in the rose water and orange flower water.

8. Spread the bread out in a 20cm flat-bottomed serving dish. Cool.

9. Beat the clotted cream to soften it then spread it thickly over the bread.

10. Scatter with pistachio nuts and serve at room temperature or lightly chilled.

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