I really enjoy breakfast, but don't like having a lot of preparations to do in the morning - then I end up with a cup of coffee and whatever I can find in the fridge (chocolate ice cream, anyone?) So I like recipes I can do the night before and have them cooking while I have my first cup of coffee. This recipe suits me well. I make it in individual ramekins to cut down the cooking time and because then I have breakfast for a couple days already made. Since I make my own bread, I almost always have leftovers in the freezer to use when I have the taste for bread pudding. I consider myself efficient (not lazy). I add items that I have on hand, walnuts, pecans or almonds, dried fruit, fresh blueberries or strawberries in season, cocoa or chocolate chips if I have a yen for chocolate. There are an almost endless variety of combinations. Bread pudding is nothing new, but I like combining different flavors and simplifying the preparation by splitting the work up. —KAY MILNE
Beat eggs (with fork) in large bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and beat until well combined. Combining these items first helps cinnamon and sugar dissolve well.
Add milk to bowl and mix well. Cube the bread into 1 inch pieces. Add bread and raisins or fruit to bowl. Mix well, making sure bread is coated with liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator overnight. If you do this early enough, you can stir it once just before going to bed to make sure liquid gets absorbed evenly by bread.
In the morning, preheat oven to 350. Ladle bread mixture into 4 eight ounce ramekins and place on baking sheet. At this time you can add nuts and/or sprinkle a little white sugar over top of each ramekin.
Bake for 15 minutes, if still too wobbly, bake another 5 minutes. The bread should be lightly browned on top, and if there is any custard, it should not be dry, it should wiggle a little when you move the ramekin.