14 oz. loaf challah bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
¾ cup granulated sugar
9 large egg yolks
4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp table salt
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups milk
2 t unsalted butter, melted
2 T light brown sugar
1 T granulated sugar
1. Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine brown sugar and 1 T granulated sugar in small bowl; set aside. ( I double the sugars and I use dark brown sugar )
2. Spread bread cubes in single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until just dry, 10 –15 minutes, stirring and rotating trays from top to bottom racks halfway through. Cool bread cubes about 15 minutes, set aside 2 cups.
3. Whisk yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in cream and milk until combined. Add remaining 8 cups cooled bread and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to 9x13 pan and let stand, occasionally pressing bread into custard, until cubes are thoroughly saturated, about 30 minutes.
4. Spread reserved 2 cups of bread evenly over top of soaked bread and gently press into custard. Using pastry brush, dab melted butter over top of unsoaked bread pieces. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top. Place bread pudding on rimmed baking sheet and bake on middle rack until custard has just set and pressing center of pudding with finger reveals no runny liquid, about 45 to 50 minutes ( 170 °) . Serve warm with Bourbon Brown Sugar sauce.
Brown Sugar sauce
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
7 T heavy cream
2 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 T bourbon (or rum) ( I omit this )