Slice bread 1/2" thick. Butter 1 side of each slice.
Butter 1 1/2 qt. shallow baking dish. Arrange one half the bread, buttered side up, in single layer in dish. Sprinkle with cherries or raisins. Top with another layer of bread slices. Whisk eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla and almond extracts, and salt in bowl. Whisk in hot milk. Pour custard over bread.
Press bread into custard. Let stand 30 minutes.
Press again. Preat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking dish in larger baking pan. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in bowl. Sprinkle over pudding. Pour boiling water in large pan halfway up side of dish. Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden. Serve warm with cream.