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Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding with Cranks

Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding

Dinner, Events, Leftovers | 9th April 2015 | By

An easy vegetarian savoury pudding flavoured with leeks and cheese which is just as good (if not better) than its sweet counterpart. If you’ve not tried this cheese and leek bread pudding recipe from Cranks, you’re definitely missing out.

Cranks and I go back a long way. The Dartington Cider Press branch, now Cranks Kitchen, opened many years ago, when I was at school. It was a very exciting prospect for an ever hungry bunch of teenagers and it was only a couple of hundred yards down the hill. We couldn’t afford much, but I do remember wolfing down a fair number of cheese baps and date slices. I’ve been a frequent visitor ever since. When I was invited to attend a new product launch event there a few week ago, I was not going to say no.

A Trip to Cranks at Dartington

Cranks was a hippy vegetarian wholefood cafe that first opened its doors in Carnaby Street in 1961. It’s been weathering the storms of foodie fashion ever since. It’s done this by staying true to the concept of its founder, David Canter. In other words, delicious food that is good for both body and soul. Cranks Kitchen is now the sole restaurant and it still cooks slow food using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Much of the same food that was available to me back in the 1970s is still on the menu now.

Richard Corrigan

Latterly, Richard Corrigan has teamed up with Cranks’ bakery to create some new slow rise breads. As well as Carry on Carrot and Breaditerranean, there is one which particularly resonates with me: Hippity Hoppity is a cheese and potato bread inspired by the famous Cranks’ homity pie. I’ve been eating and enjoying homity pie for more years than I care to remember.

Richard Corrigan

I was lucky enough to sit with Richard Corrigan and be entertained by his Irish wit and free flowing conversation throughout our meal. It was his suggestion to share a platter of food from the menu rather than each ordering our own individual meal. This was a great idea that immediately appealed to me, as I too like to try a little bit of everything.

Cranks Kitchen Feast

The staff coped with good will and grace to our unusual request and a large plate full of savoury bites and colourful salads soon appeared. Quite what we had has rather faded from memory now, but it was all very tasty. I know we had some homity pie, I’m not likely to forget that and I also know we had some of this savoury cheese and leek bread pudding.

The restaurant was packed with happy diners, mostly regular customers invited for the launch, which seems a particularly gracious way of saying thank you.  The staff were cheerful and helpful, the food was excellent and we were all given a rather large goodie bag on arrival.

Cranks Cake

The festive atmosphere was supported by a generous number of balloons – and there was cake. Cake always puts a smile on people’s faces and it certainly did on ours. Not a crumb remained by the time we left the table. The goodie bag contained a loaf of Cranks wholemeal, which incidentally is one of the nicest wholemeal loaves I’ve ever had. Also included were a Hippity Hoppity loaf, a couple of bags of dried beans and excitingly, a new edition of Cranks Recipe Book by David Canter, first published in 1982.

Savoury Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding

I was so excited by the new Cranks recipe for savoury cheese and leek bread pudding, that I made some for supper the very next day. We were both rather hungry and I didn’t have time for pictures, so what you can see at the top of this post are the leftovers. These didn’t stay leftover for long; the pudding was almost as delicious cold as it was hot. We ate ours with purple sprouting broccoli – highly recommended.

More Nostalgic Trips Down Cranks Memory Lane

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Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding. PIN IT.

Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding

Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding – The Recipe

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5 from 2 votes

Savoury Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding

A savoury pudding flavoured with leeks and cheese which is just as good (if not better) than its sweet counterpart.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: bread, bread pudding, cheese, leeks, savoury, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 398kcal


  • 2 medium leeks - sliced
  • 400 g (14oz) wholemeal bread - sliced and cut into triangles (I used Cranks wholemeal loaf)
  • 150 g (5oz) cheddar cheese - grated
  • 40 g (1.5oz) salted butter
  • 600 ml (1 pint) milk
  • 3 medium eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt (I omitted this as I figured the cheese and butter were quite salty enough).


  • Grease a 1.5 litre baking dish with a little butter. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks for about five minutes, until softened.
  • Put a layer of bread in the base of the baking dish. Scatter half the leeks on top, then sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Arrange the remaining bread triangles over the surface, followed by the rest of the leeks.
  • Beat the milk and eggs together and season to taste. Pour evenly over the bread, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Leave to stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5. Bake the pudding for 30 to 35 minutes, until puffed-up and golden brown.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 19.8g | Fat: 19.4g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 4.9g | Sugar: 7.9g | Calcium: 334mg | Iron: 1mg


As we were given a paper recipe card to take away, I’m entering this savoury cheese and leek bread pudding into Recipe Clippings over at FarmersgirlKitchen

Likewise it goes to Jac’s Bookmarked Recipes over at Tinned Tomatoes.

As this is a fairly frugal meal, using up bits of old bread, I’m sending this to Credit Crunch Munch with Michelle over at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

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  1. Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe

    9th April 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I was very fond of cranks in covent garden in london and wasn’t sure if any of their restaurants survived so am pleased to hear there is still one going. I also have a couple of cranks cookbooks – I really love the 1970s one. The bread and butter pudding sounds great – I was just thinking about one today with the odd pieces of bread we have about and this looks delicious.

    • Choclette

      9th April 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Dartington is the only Cranks I’ve ever been into Johanna, but I hadn’t realised until now that it is the only one left. I used to make something similar to this, but had completely forgotten about it until we had it Cranks the other week. Very glad to have rediscovered such a gem.

  2. Glamorous Glutton

    9th April 2015 at 1:58 pm

    You’ve just reminded me of lunches spent in Cranks in Carnaby Street. I loved that restaurant and as a student it was one of the affordable places in the west end of London. I thought it had gone for good, I’m so pleased that at least on branch still exists. The Savoury bread pudding looks delicious too. I’m quite jealous of a lunch spent with Richard Corrigan, I bet that was fun. GG

    • Choclette

      9th April 2015 at 7:42 pm

      And I’m quite envious of you going to the original Cranks GG – a veritable piece of history 😉 Richard was great fun. He’s really into gardening these days, so we talked a lot about the best way to grow veg.

  3. Munchies and munchkins

    9th April 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Oh that bread pudding sounds incredible. I’m working on a savoury bread pudding recipe myself after loving the hot cross bun dish I made last week.. Yum.

    • Choclette

      9th April 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Ah, I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Do let me know. I used to make one quite regularly, but had completely forgotten until I had this at Cranks.

  4. Lindsay

    9th April 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve never heard of Cranks but if I’m ever in London I’ll be sure to check it out. I am such a cheese addict too, I love the idea of using it in a bread pudding!

    • Choclette

      9th April 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Ah, you’ll have to come to Devon to try Cranks out Lindsay, I’m not sure when the London branches closed, but they are no more.

  5. Emma

    9th April 2015 at 8:19 pm

    This looks amazing! It’s definitely got my stomach rumbling! x

    • Choclette

      9th April 2015 at 8:37 pm

      It’s very simple Emma, but really quite delicious.

  6. Camilla

    9th April 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Your post brings back memories of visits to the Cider Press as a teen with my parents, I used to love all the food and remember lovely baps filled with cress, then we’d buy some pottery and some cider and I even went there with my now hubby. Then there was the branch in London too which from memory was on Sloane Street but I could be totally wrong. I have cherished my Cranks Books and cooked so many different things from them over the years. Remember hubby made a lovely Homity Pie from one of them once. Thanks for this fab recipe, a great entry to #CreditCrunchMunch:-)

    • Choclette

      9th April 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Ah, it’s good to hear you have fond memories of the Cider Press Camilla. The baps filled with cress were the cheese baps I mentioned. Sadly, I never made it to any of the London branches.

  7. Helen

    9th April 2015 at 9:13 pm

    This looks lovely! I’m a big fan of the savoury bread pudding. Yum.

    • Choclette

      9th April 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Simple comfort food Helen – hard to beat 🙂

  8. Janice

    9th April 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I love a savoury bread pudding, this looks like a really tasty and frugal dish. Thanks for joining me for #Recipe Clippings.

    • Choclette

      10th April 2015 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Janice. It reminded me at just how good savoury bread puddings can be.

  9. Phil in the Kitchen

    9th April 2015 at 11:27 pm

    That’s a fine piece of proper food and just the sort of food I’d expect and enjoy at a Cranks. You’ve made me very nostalgic. I can’t remember the original Cranks in Carnaby Street but I have many fond memories of the place after they moved around the corner into Marshall Street (at about the time Sgt Pepper was released unless my memories of the sixties are less than reliable and they almost certainly are). To be honest, there were a few times when the food was just a little bit too worthy and, let’s face it, heavy as a heavy thing but that certainly didn’t stop me loving the place. I also hung out in the Dartington Cranks for a week or two when I had some sort of vague business with the college back in the 90s and I’ve always remembered that place with affection too. I had no idea it was still there.

    • Choclette

      10th April 2015 at 8:48 am

      Gosh Beatles mania Phil, what an exciting time to be in London and hanging out in hippy cafes. It seems many think that Cranks has disappeared entirely but the Dartington branch is always very busy. Dartington is a very lovely little pocket of the world. Sadly the college is no longer there, it decamped to Falmouth.

  10. Elizabeth

    10th April 2015 at 7:49 am

    I’ve never heard of Cranks (being Canadian and all) but it sounds like a super place. Gorgeous recipe too!

    • Choclette

      10th April 2015 at 8:49 am

      Cranks was big in the 70s Elizabeth, but their cookbooks are all still available and well worth having.

  11. Karen

    10th April 2015 at 11:04 am

    I LOVE Cranks and still have a battered paperback book from the 1970’s! I am also a BIG fan of savoury bread puddings and this one will be added to my list! Karen

    • Choclette

      10th April 2015 at 1:18 pm

      It’s very heartening to hear how so many have good memories of Cranks Karen – long may it continue 🙂 I’d forgotten about savoury bread puddings until I had this a few weeks ago, but i used to make quite a few of them.

  12. Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    10th April 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I got introduced to cranks by my Inlaws who are huge fans. Yum.

    • Choclette

      10th April 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Ah, so glad you know about Cranks Bintu – always worth a visit if in the vicinity.

  13. Jenny

    10th April 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Oh how wonderful it would be to go back there again! Maybe at the next DHS reunion? Had no idea it was still there…amazed to see a photo of cake, which had quit a pallid complexion. Not WHITE flour surely?! That would never have happened in the old days!

    • Choclette

      10th April 2015 at 6:21 pm

      It’s been a long time since we were all there together Jenny – as you say, we should try and make an effort for the next reunion. Good point about the cake, shows what a good time I was having as that point rather slipped my notice 😉

  14. Dom

    10th April 2015 at 11:03 pm

    I love Cranks but haven’t been in so long! There used to be one in Carnaby Street but I don’t think it’s there any more. The savour bread and butter pudding looks lovely (what’s left of it!) and is such a good idea… I’m gonna make it!

    • Choclette

      11th April 2015 at 9:17 am

      Dom the one in Carnaby Street closed a very long time ago. This one at Dartington is the only one left – do keep up 😉

  15. Anita-Clare Field

    11th April 2015 at 7:47 am

    Ah, Cranks, Loved the one in Covent Garden, but equally the one in the Devon.I’ve had many a lunch there too when it was the cider press. My best friends moved to Exeter in the early 90’s so I spent lots of time there. Beautiful homity loaf. Gosh what with Becca’s Homity pie bites and this loaf now I am going to be indulging my love of all things homity for weeks. Great post.

    • Choclette

      11th April 2015 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Anita. Cranks is still at the Cider Press, so you shouldn’t see too many changes on your next visit. Homity pie is one of my favourite comfort dishes and it’s really time I made one again.

  16. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

    11th April 2015 at 10:24 am

    I am sure there was one near to Conduit street too – the West side of Regent street. Maybe not.

    So sad how ever increasing rents make all these places close down and be replaced by bland chains.

    • Choclette

      11th April 2015 at 11:13 am

      Yes indeed Helen, high rates are also one of the reasons there are so few independent shops and cafes in our high streets these days – very sad.

  17. Lucy @ BakingQueen74

    11th April 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I remember my mum using the Cranks cookbook, seem to remember liking her dishes! This sounds very tasty. Was there a Cranks in Bath do you know? Used to eat somewhere there with my Dad that I thought was Cranks.

    • Choclette

      11th April 2015 at 8:38 pm

      No, I’m a bit hazy about any of them except the Dartington one Lucy as that was the only one I ever went into. Bath is the sort of place that might have had one though.

  18. Lisa from Lisa's Life

    29th April 2015 at 6:21 pm

    I’ve never had a savoury bread pudding but now I’m wondering if my Lactofree cheese would work in this, it sounds absolutely delicious! 🙂

    • Choclette

      29th April 2015 at 7:27 pm

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t work Lisa. Go for it.

  19. Janice Pattie

    29th February 2020 at 12:31 pm

    I love a savoury bread and butter pudding, such a great combination. This one is going to be made soon!

    • Choclette

      29th February 2020 at 5:24 pm

      It’s just perfect winter comfort food. Next time I get leeks, I think I shall be making it too.


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