To make pudding: Slice off the side, bottom and top crusts from
the loaf about 1/4 inch thick and reserve. Cut the rest of the
loaf into 1/2-in cubes and set aside. Butter a springform pan
with the 2 T of butter. Line the pan, starting with the sides and
finishing with the bottom, with the reserved crusts in a neat,
single layer, placing the pieces cut side facing inward. Trim
where necessary to prevent overlapping, and patch as needed.
In a large mixing bowl, use a rubber spatula to blend together the
mascarpone and brown sugar until completely smooth. Whisk in
the pumpkin, spices, vanilla and salt. Add the eggs and yolks, one
at a time, whisking until each one is completely incorporated. Stir
in the milk until mixture is well-blended. Fold in the cubed bread.
Use a large pice of aluminum foil to wrap around the bottom and
up the sides of the pan, keeping the top completely open. Pour
the custard mixture into the crust-lined pan. Gently pat down any
floating bread cubes with a spatula. Let the mixture soak for at
least an hour or up to overnight, covered in plastic wrap in the frig.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack in the
middle position. Place bread pudding wrapped in foil in a
roasting pan on the oven rack. Fill roasting pan with hot water 1
inch deep. Bake for 1 hour and 15 mins to 1 hr and 25 mins.
Pudding will be puffed and golden brown; knife inserted will
come out streaked but not wet.
Serve with caramel sauce: Melt butter with brown sugar and salt
until bubbling and hot. Turn heat to low and carefully add
cream, whisking until smooth. When sauce boils again, remove
from heat. Allow to cool to room temp and thicken.
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