Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice 6 slices of dried hard bread. Grease 1½-quart casserole dish with butter and place diced bread evenly into the dish.
Beat 4 eggs just enough to blend them. Add ½ cup plus 2 T. sugar, 2 cups of milk, 1 tsp. of vanilla, and ½ cup raisins (optional). Pour mixture over bread cubes, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Dot with a few pieces of butter.
Place the casserole dish in a separate pan filled with 1½ inches of water. Bake 55-60 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.