Slice the brioche ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick and lightly toast the slices. Set aside.
Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan, add the vanilla bean, and heat just to the scalding point.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks with the sugar.
Slowly whisk in the warm milk and cream mixture.
Butter a baking dish preferably glass or ceramic.
Cut each slice of brioche in half and line the bottom of the baking dish, with the slices overlapping them slightly.
Spoon about 1/3 of the egg mixture over the slices.
Top with a second layer of slices and pour the remaining egg mixture evenly over them.
Set aside for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
Sprinkle the top of the pudding with cinnamon.
Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour, until the pudding is set.
Serve while still warm with poached pears or apricots alongside if desired.