· 16 -ounce loaf of day-old French bread· 2 and ½ cup milk· 1 cup half & half (see notes You can substitute whole milk or heavy cream)· 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)· 1 cup granulated sugar· 1 Tablespoon vanilla· 1/8 teaspoon salt· 1/2 cup butter (softened)· 1 and ½ cup packed brown sugar· 1 cup pecan (chopped)
Step 1Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Step 2Cube bread then place in a large bowl.Step 3In another bowl, beat eggs, milk, half & half, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Pour over the bread and allow to sit 5 to 10 minutesStep 4In another small bowl, combine with a fork, softened butter, brown sugar, and pecans. This mixture will have the consistency of wet sand.Step 5Pour half of the bread mixture into a greased 8x8 inch pan. (Yes, 8x8-inch pan.)Step 6Top with half of the pecan mixture.Step 7Spoon remaining bread mixture over and top with remaining pecan mixture. Press down into pan slightly. Pan will be really full.Step 8Top with remaining pecan mixture.Step 9Place pan on a cookie sheet with a 1-inch edge to catch any mixture that may boil over.Step 10Bake at 350 degrees F 45 to 55 minutes.Step 11The center will be slightly jiggly but will set when cool.Step 12Allow to cool 20 to 30 minutes before serving so that the slices will hold together.Step 13It is a thick bread pudding and I cut into 16 equal servings. Obviously, you can cut larger slices.