Chocolate-Hazelnut Version: Use a rich, sweet bread such as challah. Put one third of the bread chunks into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and dot with spoonfuls of chocolate-hazelnut spread such as Nutella. You may add chopped hazelnuts if you wish. Cover with second third of bread chunks, add more chocolate chips and chocolate-hazelnut spread. (Use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, depending on your taste.) Top with the remaining third of bread chunks. When making the batter, use 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon. When making the topping, add a big blob of chocolate-hazelnut spread (about 1/4 cup) and stir until it melts into the liquid.
Since it was a new recipe, I dished out modest scoops at first. This led to a couple of people making puppydog eyes and saying, "Please, sir, may I have some more?" Six of us, and there is maybe a quarter of the dish left. It does not go nearly as far as other flavors of bread pudding have in the past!