Prep. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 11x7 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Combine. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together half-and-half (2 cups), pumpkin (1 (15-ounce can)), brown sugar (1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons), eggs (2), pumpkin pie spice (1 1/2 teaspoons), cinnamon (1 1/2 teaspoons), nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon), and vanilla (2 teaspoons) until evenly combined. Fold in bread cubes (10 cups). Stir in raisins (1/2 cup).
Bake. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Place in preheated oven and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
Enjoy! Let cool for a few minutes then cut and serve with caramel sauce, pecans, and sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.
Half-and-Half: This is a simple mixture of half milk and half cream.
Canned Pure Pumpkin: Make sure you grab a pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. The latter contains sweetener and spices. This recipe is written for just the pure pumpkin and it also includes sweetener and warm fall spices.
Eggs: When baking it's best to use room temperature eggs.
Vanilla: I always bake with pure vanilla extract vs. imitation vanilla. The flavor of imitation vanilla just doesn't stand up to pure vanilla.
Brioche: This is a slightly sweet, very rich yeast bread. This pumpkin bread pudding with brioche is made very rich by the addition of high-fat ingredients such as plenty of eggs, milk, and butter.
Raisins: Who knew raisins in bread pudding could, and often is, controversial. My hubby and I love all bread puddings with raisins but other family members revolts at the site of raisins. So, they're obviously optional!