This is an old family recipe that I've been using for over 30 years. It's a great way to use stale bread and/or rolls, but, it's especially good when you make it with the flavored "swirl" breads that are available in the stores. The finished dish is rich, egg-y and custard-y. It's like eating French Toast out of a bowl!! Try using apple fritters instead of bread and about 1 cup chopped apple for a different twist!
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 3-4 quart glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Have at the ready: a 9X13-inch baking pan with about 2" on water in it. You will need this to bake the bread pudding in a water bath.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar and flour. Add the eggs and beat well (by hand).
Add the vanilla and milk and mix well. Add the bread cubes and raisins Mix well. Let set for about 10-15 minutes until bread has absorbed some of the liquid.
Pour into prepared baking dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon.
Place in baking pan (with water on the bottom) and place in heated oven.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until bread pudding is browned and firm.
Cool slightly before serving. Serve garnished with whipped cream if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN TAKING OUT OF THE OVEN AS THE WATER IN THE BAKING PAN IS EXTREMELY HOT!!!!
HINT: you can use as much bread cubes as you want with this recipe. If you like your bread pudding dense, just add more bread cubes. But you may have to bake it longer so it sets up. If you do this, just keep and eye on it.... check every 5-10 minutes. I've already baked it for WELL over an hour.