Crumb the bread and in a large bowl combine the ingredients in the order given. Turn the batter into a well greased 2-quart mold, or two 1-quart molds. Place in a kettle in 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for 4-5 hours, adding more water if needed. Remove mold to a wire rack, uncover, and allow to cool. Invert on wire rack and wrap the cold pudding in plastic film or foil. It may be stored for several weeks in the ice box.
When you are ready to use the Christmas pudding, return it to its mold, cover it, and steam for half an hour. Unmold the pudding again on a hot platter, decorate it with holly and pour heated brandy or rum over it. Touch a match to the pudding and serve it encircled with blue and orange flames. Pass hard sauce or French hard sauce with it.