For the bread pudding:
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 loaf sweet egg bread, such as challah or brioche, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the optional vanilla sauce:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter a 4-6-cup baking dish.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the milk, 2 tablespoons of the butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, the cinnamon, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the nutmeg, and the salt.
- Cook the milk mixture until the butter melts and then allow it to cool.
- Fill the prepared baking dish with the cubed bread.
- Add the eggs to the cooled milk mixture and whisk to combine.
- Pour the milk mixture over the bread.
- Bake the pudding until the custard is set, but still a little wobbly, and the edges of the bread are browned, about 30-45 minutes.
- Melt the remaining butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Add the remaining sugar, the cream, and the remaining vanilla and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Serve the pudding warm with the vanilla sauce.