Butter a 8x8 oven proof dish. Spread tore bread in. In a bowl whisk together sugar, spices, and salt . remove 1 tablespoon sprinkle 1/2 of the tablespoon on cherries and almonds stir in almond extract.
Save the other 1/2 tablespoon of sugar mixture for top of pudding.
In medium bowl beat eggs with the cup of sugar + spice mixture, beat 2 minutes , beat in vanilla extract and half and half .
Pour over bread in buttered 8x8 dish, Sprinkle cherries with almonds over evenly PRESS DOWN INTO MILK WITH THE BACK OF A SPOON making sure milk covers all.
Let bread soak 25 minutes until bread absorbs milk, in refrigerator . PREHEAT OVEN TO 325 DEGREES
Pinch Pieces of butter DROP EVENLY over bread Sprinkle Saved 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar over top.
Place the 8x8 dish into larger dish or pan [ I used a 9x13 one ] SLOWLY pour hot tap water half way up larger dish ,DON'T GET ANY WATER INTO BREAD .
BAKE: 50 MINUTES SERVE HOT OR COLD WITH POWDERED SUGAR, EITHER WAY IS VERY GOOD.