Malt loaf bread and butter pudding

[AMENDMENT: The owners of Soreen, McCambridge, are closing two factories, however this will not affect the production of Soreen malt loaf. What a relief. This shouldn’t prevent you from making this pudding anyway, or from gorging on the stuff on a regular basis.]

It was reported this week that the makers of Soreen malt loaf are closing two factories in Manchester. This is tragic news – a seeming death knell of one of the finest products ever to ennoble our shelves. It has all the hallmarks of a classic brand – packaging that has barely changed over the years, a unique flavour entrenched in childhood nostalgia and comfort, and a flock of devotees as loyal as Leeds United supporters.

There is, as far as I know, no other brand waiting in the wings. Were Hellman’s to go bust tomorrow yes, it would be a tragedy, but there are plenty of other places to get your mayonnaise fix (not least by making your own which is far nicer anyway). But Soreen sits alongside Colman’s mustard powder, Angostura bitters, and Bruce Forsythe, as wares that will be near-irreplaceable when gone.

Mission is a strong word, but I shall at least try to do my bit to save Soreen. I started last night, by making a bread and butter pudding. The best bit about any bread and butter pudding is the voluptuous contrast between the crunchy, sticky topside and the wobbly, creamy centre. With malt loaf this contrast is all the more pronounced.

Serves 6

2 loaves malt loaf

Unsalted butter, 50g or so

A pint of whole milk

A vanilla pod/half a teaspoon of vanilla essence

50g sugar

2 eggs


– Preheat the oven to 150C

– Slice and butter the malt loaf

– Put the milk in a saucepan with the vanilla pod (if using vanilla essence hold tight on the vanilla) and bring almost to a boil.

– Meanwhile whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl (and the vanilla essence, if using) until light.

– Slowly pour in the scalded milk, whisking as you go.

– Arrange the bread in layers in a buttered oven-proof dish, then pour over the custard.

– Sprinkle with a little more sugar and bake for an hour.

– Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes before serving with cream or ice cream (rum and raisin is spot on with it).

Does anyone reckon they can make a maltloaf as good as Soreen’s? I’d love to hear your recipe.

19 thoughts on “Malt loaf bread and butter pudding

  1. I can’t believe that Soreen Malt loaf is about to disappear? I have tried many recipes over the years to try and replicate this sticky loaf and have never found one that would actually stick to the back of your teeth in quite the same way, that was so squidgy that the knife squashes while cutting it to make a unique and strange geometric shaped slice every time. They are on 2 for 1 at Tesco this week, so I’m off to stock up.

  2. What a great idea. I love Soreen, and B&B pud. I really hope Soreen survives, is it really going to stop being made or are they just ramping down production?
    Going to go and make me a B&B Pudding now (a normal one as I have lots of leftover bread) Then I am going to have a look through the rest of your blog :o)

    • You can buy jars of malt extract at Holland and Barrett but be careful not to buy those with the addition of cod liver oil

  3. Soreen isn’t going anywhere… just the opposite, we’re not only expanding our production capacity of malt loaf we’ve launched a new fruit loaf Fruity Five! that we love.

    But we’re always looking for new ideas so share all of your recipies on our website!

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  5. I’m glad I only just read this, or I’d have been worrying about a malt-loaf free world for days.

    The idea of making bread and butter pudding with Soreen is genius. I can’t believe that it had never crossed my mind.

  6. Pingback: Maltloaf – to toast or not to toast? « James Ramsden

  7. i have a strange, fabulous recipe for a malt loaf from my schooldays – choose a cup size and use that same cup for all the ingredients so the proportions are correct.
    day one – 1 cup of each into large bowl – brown sugar, ‘all bran’, sultanas, milk, leave overnight.
    day two – add and stir in thoroughly same cup full of self raising flour.
    pour into loaf tin, bake in medium oven for an hour.

  8. I just microwaved soreen with butter on till it went really squidgy and thought ‘There MUST be a recipe for malt bread and butter pudding on the internet’ and here it is!

  9. We are Irish living in Australia. Recently discovered Soreen malt loaf. Very tasty. Not fruity lovers but put up with fruit for malt taste.Irish Veda bread,a malt loaf is great. Recently returned from Ireland on holiday with 10 loaves in suitcase. Woul love to receive recipe suggestions to satisfy our taste buds

  10. Read your blogs about malt loaf with interest as i was looking for a recipe to use up a loaf from the freezer. Can’t wait to try it. But one little question: do you know of any manufacturer who makes a gluten-free alternative?

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