Wow, was this good! I took a recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook and made alterations to it. The one thing I kept the same though was the butter. I had better get this in, this is a good dessert for a Super Bowl party or a tail gate at a Mardi Gras parade.
I went hunting for a Brioche or Challah Bread cause I think they make the best bread pudding. If you can't find either, look for a bread that has been made with egg. In you want a traditional New Orleans Bread Pudding, use day old Italian Bread. Please note that this recipe uses (3) 4oz White Chocolate Bars. I like to use Ghirardelli
Pictured is a 9" x 13" Lasagne dish. I like it cause it's deep and has straight sides. Butter it well. Melt 6 TBL UnSalted Butter. Cube 6 Cups Bread to 3/4" cubes. Place in bowl, pour melted butter over top and stir to coat bread. Set aside. Break (2) 4 oz White Chocolate into small pieces and place in a separate bowl. In a heavy sauce pan, bring 3 Cups Whole Milk and 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream to a SIMMER. Do not boil. Pour over White Chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 3 Large Eggs, 1 1/2 Cups Sugar, 2 tsp Vanilla, and 1/4 tsp Salt. Whisk until combined. Pour custard over bread. Once this mixture has cooled slightly, add the last White Chocolate Bar broken up into small pieces. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place a plate on the wrap to keeping the bread in the custard. If needed, add a can to weight down plate. Let this stand for an hour. Give a stir and place in caserole dish. Dust generously with Sanding Sugar. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 40-50 minutes on the center rack, rotating half way through the baking process. The center should still tremble slightly when dish is moved as it will continue to bake once it is removed from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with whipped cream and Chocolate Curls.
Please note, I used a water bath for baking cause my dish is deeper than the original recipe and I didn't want it to burn before it was done in the middle. For serving, I warmed it in the oven set at 350 without the bath for 15 minutes.