Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

2 T. unsalted butter, softened
4 cups fat-free milk
9 cups French bread*, cut into 1/2 ” cubes and dried
2 cups sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. vanilla
4 egg whites
1 egg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

(* I used a French Farm Bread, which has a hard crust and is slightly sour. Its sourness was a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the pudding. Any French bread will do, though. Cut it into cubes and put it on a large cookie sheet to dry out overnight or in a warm oven for a half hour or so.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread soft butter onto bottom and sides of a 9″ by 13″ inch baking dish. (Optional, you can also just spray the pan with nonstick spray.)

Heat milk in a saucepan until about 180 degrees, or until tiny bubbles form on the edge. Do not boil. Place dried bread cubes into a large bowl and pour hot milk over bread.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg whites and egg . Slowly add this to the bread and milk mixture, stirring as you pour it in. Stir in raisins.

Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle pecans on top. Place dish into a large roasting pan and add hot water to the larger pan to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Bake for 50 minutes or until browned and set.

Bourbon Sauce

3/4 cup sugar
6 T. butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup bourbon

Combine sugar, butter and egg in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook 4 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 165 degrees and mixture is thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in bourbon.

Serves: 16 (1/2 cup bread pudding and 1 T. sauce)
6 Poodles