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1. For pecan praline: Lightly grease a baking sheet; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Without stirring, boil gently, uncovered, about 7 minutes or until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans. Quickly pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Cool. Break or chop into small pieces; set aside.
2. In a very large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add bread pieces; stir to moisten evenly. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Transfer bread mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
4. Serve warm bread pudding with scoops of ice cream. Sprinkle with pecan praline. Makes 12 to 16 servings.