For Southern style bread pudding, break 2 loaves of day-old French bread into chunks, and soak them with 8 cups milk and 2 cups raisins for 15 minutes. Beat cinnamon, vanilla, melted butter, sugar and a dozen eggs until blended, and bake the mixture at 350 F for 45 minutes.
Comfort sauce makes a good addition to this recipe. Melt a cup of butter, stir in 4 egg yolks, 2 cups sugar and 8 tablespoons water, and stir the mixture over medium-low heat until the sugar thickens the mixture. Stir in Southern Comfort bourbon to taste.
Alternatively, adding a dash of nutmeg to the blend shakes up the flavor. Sourcing the bread makes a difference as well. If you want a softer pudding, take the crust off the bread before putting it in to soak. The softening process ensures that the crust doesn't add a crunch to the pudding, but makes for a chewier texture. Raisins are optional. Adding a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture while keeping out the raisins lends a more uniform texture to the entire pudding. One satisfying aspect of making bread pudding is finding ingredients that add an element of surprise to the flavor.