You will need:
1 load soft French bread, torn into small pieces
2-1/2 cups half-and-half, divided
2 cups milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, divided
2 tablespoons rum
Place bread pieces in a large bowl and add 2 cups half-and-half milk. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir mixture well with a wooden spoon, then add eggs, 2 cups sugar, pecans, raisins, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a 13×9-inch baking pan. Tilt pan to coat evenly. Spoon bread mixture into prepared pan. Bake, uncovered for 55-60 minutes or until pudding is firm. Remove from oven and cool.
For sauce, combine remaining 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup half-and-half in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Allow to simmer 5 minutes, then remove from heat and cool. Add rum and stir.
To serve, cut bread pudding into squares and spoon Buttered Rum Sauce over each serving.
Yield: 15 servings