How to make it

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
  • Spread a generous amount of butter on one side of each slice of bread and line the bottom and sides of the baking dish.
  • Mix together the milk, eggs, sugar, salt, raisins, and vanilla and cinnamon, if you are using them, and pour over the bread. Place any extra pieces of bread on top and press down so they are submerged.
  • Let stand for about 10 minutes, a little longer if the bread is particularly dry.
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 30 minutes more.
  • If you like a crustier brown top, slip the dish under a hot broiler a few minutes until deep golden.
  • Serve warm with a pitcher of heavy cream.
  • Tip #1: This is also outrageously good with a hard sauce.
  • Tip #2: I have made this recipe in the above fashion countless times with excellent results. It is also, however, incredibly good in a savory version. Should you wish to try that, omit the cinnamon and sweet ingredients. Instead, season with savory ingredients. My version used brown rather than white bread and used nutmeg, emmentaler and parmasean cheeses, fresh thyme, and sauteed onions, served with a sauteed forest mushroom & vodka sauce. Amazing!

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