Grease 13 x 9-inch pan well with solid vegetable shortening. Do not use vegetable oil spray.
Combine bread cubes and raisins in large bowl and mound into prepared pan. Bread should be piled 2 to 3 inches over top of pan. Over medium heat, melt butter in milk. Add sugar and cinnamon and let cool. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Pour liquid over bread cubes and press well to be sure bread soaks up all the liquid. At this point bread mixture should be level with pan.
Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then cut into desired number of pieces or spoon into decorative serving dishes. Add desired amount of warm sauce to each serving. Refrigerate any unused pudding and sauce and reheat to serve. Makes about 12 to 16 servings.
NOTE: Use bakery bread or homemade bread that has been dried out one day, and cubed with crusts on. White, whole-wheat or raisin breads work best. Do not substitute. Quantity equals 1 1/2 large loaves.
Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Add sugar and cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Add half and half and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. When mixture is cooled, add vanilla extract and stir.
Serve warm or refrigerate and reheat in microwave oven.Makes 4 Source: