In medium sized saucepan, blend together sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt. Add egg and mix until well blended. Slowly stir in milk until ingredients are blended.
Over medium heat and stirring constantly, bring to boil (takes about 15 minutes) and then immediately remove from heat.
Stir in butter and vanilla. If desired, divide into 4 serving dishes. Serve warm or cold.
To avoid having a skin form on top of the pudding, press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding as it cools.
Use whatever type of milk you happen to have. Whole milk will make the creamiest pudding, but 2% or non-fat work well, too.
Double or triple the recipe. Make sure you have a big enough saucepan.
Make a chocolate pie. Bake a 9 inch pie shell, make a batch and a half of chocolate pudding, and pour the pudding into the baked pie shell. Refrigerate until firm. For more specific directions, check out my recipe for chocolate pudding pie.
Add a couple teaspoons of instant espresso powder to make a mocha chocolate pudding. Mix the powder with the flour and sugar, blending it in well.
Be creative with toppings. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle the pudding with chocolate chips, nuts, or top with fresh fruit, like strawberries or raspberries. This crunchy oat topping is really good, too.