Any leftover bread will work in this recipe, but if you want to take it right over the top, you have to follow my instructions to the very end. It's the rich chocolate chips, marshmallows, and warm caramel with vanilla bean ice cream on the side that will make you say, "Now that's what I'm talking about!"
Serves 6 to 8
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
3 large eggs
4 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup small marshmallows
1/2 cup small bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 slices pecan-raisin bread
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
WHAT TO DO
1. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients except the bread and ice cream and stir to combine.
2. Cut the bread into small cubes and fold the bread into the egg mixture. Let stand for 1 hour, making sure the bread is immersed in the liquid.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Scrape the bread mixture into a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Bake until the center is set, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
WHAT'S THE STORY
My granddaddy's bread pudding was so good, everyone came over to his house for it, especially my wife, Stacy, when she was craving sweets during her pregnancies.
Granddaddy would save the ends of my grandmother's raisin bread and freeze them until he had enough to make a pudding.