Place challah bread in a large bowl, set aside. Whisk milk, heavy cream, eggs, granulated sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl. Pour milk mixture over challah bread and lightly toss to ensure bread pieces are fully covered. Set aside and allow to sit for 1 hour.
Prepare Pecan Glaze
Whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, and pecans. Set aside.
Grease a 7 inch bake pan (or springform pan) with butter. Add a layer of your bread pudding base, then a layer of pecan glaze, and so on until the bake pan is full, finishing with a layer of pecan glaze on top.
Pour 1 cup of water in bottom of Instant Pot.
Place bread pudding in Instant Pot with bakeware sling or foil sling on top of trivet. Cover and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to natural release for 15 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
Remove bread pudding from the Instant Pot and set aside.
Prepare caramel glaze
Place a heavy bottom saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk together butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Allow mixture to come to boil and reduce heat to medium and allow mixture to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test your glaze to see if it coats the back of a spoon. If it does, remove pan from the heat. Stir in chopped pecans.
Pour caramel glaze over finished bread pudding.
Your bread pudding is done when a knife that’s entered into the pudding comes out clean (or mostly clean). To be 100% sure, grab a Quick Read Thermometer and check to make sure the center is 160 degrees.
If you can’t find challah, brioche bread works fine. Brioche bread is a tad bit sweeter so you may need to adjust the sugar when substituting.
You can serve this recipe with or without the last caramel glaze. I love it with it and think the extra effort in the stove is totally worth it.