Bread pudding has been around forever and there are many ways to make it. Here's my mom's recipe that I enjoyed as a child.
We call it "shoestring" because my mom made this when we could not afford more costly pies and cakes. She would say, "I'll make bread pudding for dinner because we are on a shoestring budget...thus the name "Shoestring Bread Pudding".
You should use real vanilla extract rather than imitation if possible. It is rather expensive but it enhances the flavor immensely.