1 loaf of bread (I use sprouted grain bread)
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons vanilla
5 cups 1/2 & 1/2 or 2 1/2 cups cream and 2 1/2 cups milk : )
1/2-1 cup sweetener (I use a combo of two of the following: honey, agave, or maple syrup) you can use sugar if you prefer
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
sprinkle of cardamon for the top prior to baking
1/4 cup each of nuts and dried fruit (I use combos like; almonds and cherries, raisins and walnuts, cranberries and pecans) make up your own family favorite, or don't add any at all.
Begin by toasting each piece of bread and buttering one side, then stacking each piece on top of the other so that the buttered side is touching the side you didn't butter, cut the bread into bite sized pieces and put into a large bowl, stew pot, or pan. Everyone with me? Okay. Preheat the oven to 350. Beat the eggs with the vanilla, add the sweetener, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg mix well, pour the egg mixture over the bread, fold the mixture making sure all the bread pieces are covered with the egg mixture. Add the 1/2 & 1/2 and mix well. Let stand a few minutes for the bread to absorb some of the mixture. You can bake this in a 9 x 13 baking dish (it's really full, so put a baking sheet under the pan as the bread "puffs up" during the baking) or you can use several different casserole dishes (like I do!). Sprinkle the top with cardamon. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes depending on the size of your baking dish. It's best to begin checking at about 60 minutes. I use different dishes so that I can use different combinations of fruit and nuts, I fill the baking dishes and then add the fruit and nuts then I sprinkle additional cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamon on top before baking.
1/4 cup (here we go again) honey, maple syrup, agave, brown sugar, or what suits you
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond or rum extract, or???)
In a small sauce pot; cook over medium heat; sweetener, butter, and cream stirring occasionally until it begins to boil, remove from heat, add vanilla and serve over the bread pudding. Enjoy : ) -Noni