This is a recipe by Jerry Carreiro, chef-owner of the Tip for Tops'n restaurant in Provincetown, Mass., he makes big batches of this Portuguese bread pudding from his grandmother's recipe every week. Portuguese bread has a firm, chewy texture and a well browned crust, and it is similar enough to Italian bread that the latter could easily be substituted. I like this bread pudding best served warm, topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and in summer, an additional scattering of fresh berries.
1In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Whisk in the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the raisins. Generously butter the bread with the softened butter. Submerge the bread in the egg mixture and set aside for a least 20 minutes. Use your hands or a large spoon to break the soaked bread into smaller chunks.
2Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9x11 inch glass baking dish.
3Transfer the soaked bread to the baking dish and smooth the top. Drizzle with the melted butter.
4Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the pudding puffs and browns and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve warm or at room temperature topped with the vanilla ice cream.