Place bread cubes in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Stir together beaten eggs, half-and-half or light cream, sugar, vanilla, and orange peel in a medium mixing bowl just until combined. Divide bread cubes evenly among four 8- to 10-ounce au gratin dishes or individual casseroles. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Bake in the 325 degree F oven about 35 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine orange juice, syrup, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove spices with a slotted spoon. Simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes more or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in toasted pecan halves. Cool slightly. Spoon sauce over warm bread pudding. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.