- 1 (16-ounce) loaf french bread
- 3 cup sugar, divided
- 5 cup large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cup half-and-half
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened and divided
- 1 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1/3 cup bourbon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Tear bread into small pieces; arrange in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Cover loosely with a paper towel, and allow to stand at room temperature several hours or until bread is stale and dry.
(or to speed up process, place bread on a baking sheet, and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes or until bread is dry) In a large bowl, combine 2 cups sugar, eggs, half-and-half and 2 teaspoons vanilla; pour over bread in baking dish.
Sprinkle raisins on top; press top of the mixture with the back of a spoon to make sure all bread is covered with egg mixture.
Let stand for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, 1/4-cup butter and pecans; sprinkle over top of bread mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
In a medium saucepan, whisk remaining 1 cup sugar and remaining ½-cup softened butter over medium heat.
Cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes.
Remove from heat, and cool slightly.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla, stirring until combined.
Add bourbon, stirring until smooth.
Pour over warm bread pudding.