Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

This recipe is from the Southern Living cookbook.  It makes the best bread pudding you will ever have.

1 (1-pound) loaf French bread or sliced white bread (I use french baguette)
1 quart milk
3 eggs, beaten slightly
1 cup raisins (I don’t use any)
1 1/2 cups sugar (I use 1 cup)
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Whiskey Sauce (see below)

Break the bread into small chunks and put in a large bowl.
Add the milk and let soak about 10 minutes; crush with hands until blended.
Add eggs, sugar, raisins, and vanilla.
Pour the melted butter into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan.
Spoon the pudding mixture into pan.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until pudding is very firm (check after 45 minutes). Let mixture cool; then cut into squares. Place in dessert dishes, and spoon Whiskey Sauce over each serving. Yield 12-15 servings.

Whiskey Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar (I use 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons whiskey (or sub 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)

Combine butter, sugar, and half-and-half in a heavy saucepan; cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool, and add whiskey. Pour over the pudding. Yield 1 1/2 cups.