Make ahead: ● I think this actually tastes better the longer the bread soaks in the custard, so feel free to refrigerate it unbaked for as long as 24 hours. ● You can also bake the bread pudding a day or two ahead; let it cool at room temperature before covering it with plastic wrap or the lid and refrigerating it. Take it out before serving and let it warm up a bit; you’ll taste the vanilla better if the pudding is not very cold.
In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the cream over low. If using the vanilla bean, split it lengthwise with the tip of a paring knife and scrape the seeds out into the cream. (Add the bean to the pot, too.) Stir in the salt and cook the cream until warm to the touch. Take the pot off the heat and let the vanilla bean steep for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
Pile the bread cubes into a rectangular pan, distributing them more or less evenly. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light yellow in color and falls from the beater in thick ribbons, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract.
Remove the vanilla bean pod from the cream mixture and reheat it over medium. Do not let it boil, but do let it get quite hot. Remove the cream from the heat, and slowly pour 1 cup of it into the egg mixture while whisking constantly as you do to temper the eggs. Then pour the egg-cream mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream and whisk it together. Strain the egg and cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer over the bread cubes in the pan. Give the pan a gentle shake to be sure all is distributed well and them let the bread absorb the custard for at least 30 minutes before baking. If baking the bread pudding right away, heat the oven to 350°F. If not, once cooled, cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it.
Bake in the center of the oven until the custard is just firm, 50 minutes to 1 hour (begin checking earlier; give the pan a gentle shake and take it out of the oven when the custard is no longer jiggly). Let cool a bit and serve warm, room temperature, (or even cold). Put a serving in a large dish and top with both the Fresh Fig Sauce, the Caramel Sauce and a dollop of Chantilly Cream.