1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly butter 8x8 baking dish.
3. Spread bread pieces on a baking tray and toast. When done, spread the bread pieces in the buttered baking dish.
4. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream (not to the point of steaming). In a large mixing bowl, which the egg yolks and syrup until well blended. Pour the heated cream into the mixture and continue whisking, Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into another large bowl.
5. Pour the cream mixture over the bread pieces. Cover the surface of the bread with a piece of plastic wrap. Place a plate (slightly smaller than the baking dish) on the plastic to submerge the bread in the cream mixture. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
6. Remove plastic and plate; the bread should be throughly soaked. Cover the baking dish with foil and then place it in a larger baking dish to form a bain-marie. Place the nested dishes in the oven. Pour hot (but not boiling) water into the larger dish until it is half way up the sides of the baking dish with the bread. Reduce heat to 325°F and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the custard is set. (When the top of the pudding is pressed lightly, no liquid should rise to the surface.) When ready, remove the baking dish from the hot water, uncover and allow to cool.
(You can make the pudding a couple days in advance and keep it chilled or covered. When ready, heat the pudding at 350°F for several minutes before serving.)
To serve, the bread pudding into squares, Please each in a bowl topped with vanilla or buttermilk ice cream, and drizzled with maple syrup. Serve with a glass of Ice Wine.