Ooooh bread pudding, you are my favorite dessert. I always said instead of having wedding cake I'd have wedding bread pudding with a maple syrup fountain. I got married in Vegas and couldn't find a place that could cater to my every whim (for the price, you know what I mean.) But, no matter, I can still have bread pudding on any other day.
I use less sugar in my recipe than a lot of others because I like to top mine with a very sweet maple whiskey sauce and maybe some ice cream. So there is no lack of sweetness if that's of any concern. I also like to have it for breakfast with just a touch of maple syrup, it will rival french toast any day.
1 loaf french bread- 3 to 4 cups (the more stale the better, but fresh will work fine) torn or cut into 1" cubes
1 c egg beaters or 4 eggs
2 c skim milk
1 c sugar (brown or white will work just fine)
1T vanilla extract
2T butter or margerine (for greasing the pan)
Maple Whiskey Sauce:
1/2 c maple syrup
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c butter
1/4 c whiskey
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t allspice
Grease 13 x 9" pan with butter
Layer cubed bread fairly evenly in pan
Beat eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon with fork until mixed
Pour over bread to nearly cover. If it doesn't cover I add a little extra milk over the top
Cover with plastic wrap and press down and along the insides of the dish to seal
At this point you can leave it on the counter for 30 minutes and preheat the oven or you can leave it in the fridge over night. If you do leave it overnight, it must be taken out of the fridge prior to cooking so it is near to room temp when it goes in the oven.
Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 30-40 minutes or until it is set
While the pudding is baking put all sauce ingredients except for the syrup in a small sauce pan on low
Cook until the sugar melts then add the maple syrup, simmer on low for 5 minutes
You can eat this warm or cool. It's good in the fridge for 3-4 days and it really can do double duty as a breakfast or dessert. I am a purist so I don't like nuts or raisins in mine but you can put in berries, raisins, dates, dried fruit or nuts and have an ever changing dessert.