Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Homey, yummy classic bread pudding with a grown-up twist. You can always serve it with ice cream or whipped cream for the kids.

I recently tried this with the addition of very high quality chunks of bittersweet chocolate. They didn’t melt completely but instead stayed as chunks. Yum.

Serves 8 to 12.

1 large loaf stale French bread, cubed, or 5 to 6 stale croissants, cut up
4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1½ cups sugar
½ to ¾ cup raisins or craisins (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whiskey Sauce (recipe below)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

2. Place the bread cubes in a bowl and cover with the milk. Let stand until all the milk is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

3. Place the eggs and sugar in another bowl and beat until smooth. Stir in the raisins, if desired, and the vanilla extract. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and mix well.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until brown and set, about 1 hour.

5. Serve warm, with the sauce.

WHISKEY SAUCE (Yield: 1½ cups.)
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup bourbon

1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. When it has melted, add the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Then add the egg and whisk until the mixture is room temperature. Add the bourbon and bring the mixture to a boil. Serve hot or cold, over the warm pudding.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)