BREAD PUDDING--Tear bread into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add half and half and milk to bowl and let stand for 10 minutes before stirring. Stir in mixture then add eggs and stir. Except for butter, add the rest of the ingredients, stirring after each addition. Pour butter into a 13x9 pan and tilt to coat evenly. Spoon mixture into pan and bake at 325 degrees until pudding is firm. Remove and cool.
PRALINE SAUCE--In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, sugar, and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add pecans and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Pour over bread pudding.