In a large bowl, whisk the first 10 ingredients together. Then dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture. Arrange slices in the prepared dish. Pour the remains of the egg mixture on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to baking it. Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl combine the first eight topping ingredients. Spread on top of French Toast.
Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle with syrup.
Grease or butter a large baking sheet with butter.
In large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the syrup begins to boil.
Using a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature, slowly increase heat to high until thermometer reads 300 degrees F. Immediately remove from heat.
Add the remaining ingredients (bacon pieces, chopped pecans, vanilla, butter and baking soda) to mixture. and stir. Be prepared for mixture to foam a bit as the baking soda reacts with other ingredients.
When foaming stops, pour hot mixture onto baking sheet in a thin, even layer.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before breaking into pieces. Store in a covered container.