This Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding is just something so homey and warm and comforting. It doesn't hurt that it is full of the rich flavors or pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and molasses...not to mention then crunchy praline topping!
Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet. Toast it in a 350 F oven for about 10-12 minutes, stirring every 3 or 4 minutes so that it doesn’t burn. The bread should start to take on a golden color, but shouldn’t be dark and hard—you don’t want to make croutons! Let the bread cool completely.
In the bowl of a large stand mixer, beat the eggs on medium-low speed with the whisk attachment. Once the eggs are well-mixed, add all of the remaining bread pudding ingredients (milk through salt).
Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add the toasted bread cubes to the dish, then pour the liquid over the top. Let the bread sit out on the counter for about 20 minutes, and periodically toss the cubes with your hands to make sure they get moistened equally.
After 20 minutes, cover the dish and refrigerate the bread to let it continue to soak up the wet mixture. I usually make mine in the evening and refrigerate it overnight, but a 2 hour soaking should be plenty if you want to make it the same day. Just make sure that your bread has absorbed most of the liquid and the pieces are very soft, but still holding their shape.
To make the praline topping, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cold butter cubes and process in quick bursts until it’s mixed into the dry ingredients and starts clumping together. Add the pecans and pulse a few more times to mix them in. Refrigerate the topping until you’re ready to bake the pudding.
Once the bread is properly soaked, preheat the oven to 350 F. Scatter about a cup of the praline topping over the top of the bread, and toss it with your hands to work down into the middle of the pudding. Scatter the remaining praline topping all over the top of the bread pudding, covering it evenly.
Place the pudding on a foil-covered baking sheet, in case of drips. Bake it for 20 minutes, then cover it with foil and bake it for an additional 15-20 minutes. It is done when it’s puffed, browned on top, and just barely jiggles when tapped.
Remove the pudding from the oven and let it cool until it’s warm but not hot. Serve warm or at room temperature.