Cajun Bread Pudding

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Ingredients

4 3/4 cups milk, divided
4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, softened
11 cups cubed French bread (1 inch cubes)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup chopped pecans

PRALINE SAUCE:
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
Dash salt

Directions

In a saucepan, heat 4 cups of milk until warm; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining milk, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla.

Gradually add warmed milk, stirring constantly. Stir in butter. Add bread cubes; soak 10 minutes. Add cinnamon, and raisins and/or pecans if desired. Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Meanwhile, for sauce, bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add sugar; stir to dissolve. Add corn syrup. Bring to boil; cook 15-20 seconds. Remove from the heat; add remaining ingredients. Cut pudding into squares and serve with sauce.