8 ounces baguette (or egg-rich bread), preferably stale
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ heavy cream
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
Getting ready: Have a nonreactive 9x5-inch loaf pan on hand (a Pyrex or pottery pan is perfect here), as well as a roasting pan big enough to hold the loaf pan. Line the roasting pan with a double thickness of paper towels. Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.
Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. If the bread is stale, put it in the loaf pan. If it is not stale, spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat and bake in a 350-degree-F oven to “stale” it for 10 minutes, then put it in the pan.
Bring the milk and cream just to a boil.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. Still whisking, slowly drizzle in about on quarter of the hot milk mixture-this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they don’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining milk. Add the bourbon and vanilla and almond extracts and whisk gently to blend. Rap the bowl against the counter to pop any bubbles that might have formed, then pour the custard over the bread and press the bread gently with the back of a spoon to help cover it with liquid. Cover the pan lightly with wax paper and leave it on the counter, giving the bread the back-of-the-spoon treatment now and then, for 1 hour.
Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Discard the wax paper and cover the pan snugly with a piece of aluminum foil. Slide the pan into the oven and very carefully pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding pan. Bake the pudding for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the pudding is puffed and golden and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool the pudding until it is just warm, or until it reaches room temperature.