I made a realization the other day - I have yet to ever make bread pudding using actual yeast bread. I've made it with Irish soda bread, with banana bread, and even with biscuits. And every time, it's been really yummy!
Having already done quite a bit of experimenting with the basic bread pudding recipe, I decided to branch out even further and see what else I could use to make a delicious, custardy pudding. This actually came about because I wanted to make biscuit pudding, but found out after mixing up the custard that I didn't have enough biscuits. What to do?
At that point, I went ahead and tossed in the biscuits, then started improvising, tossing in a bit of this and a bit of that. Leftover muffin, graham crackers, cereal crumbs, all were added with the hope that the pudding would at least be edible.
Turns out, I needn't have worried. It was delicious! It had a wonderfully soft, custardy texture and a delightful combination of flavors. Thus Hodge-Podge Pudding was created. Here is a recipe/formula for making this fun pudding, which can be used for either breakfast or dessert. It utilizes foods that you have on hand, and need to use up, so it saves money while creatively using leftovers.
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
5 cups assorted grain foods (at least 2-3 cups should be bread-like: bread, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, muffins, etc. Fill in the rest with stuff like cold cereal, leftover cooked cereal, leftover cooked rice, crackers, etc.)
Heat oven to 350. Grease a 1 1/2-qt. casserole.
Mix milk, sugar, cinnamon, and eggs in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in bread/grains. Pour into casserole.
Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge of casserole comes out clean.
I later made another batch of this hodge-podge pudding (pictured above), this time using biscuits, waffles, saltines, and cereal crumbs, and baked it in a 9x13. It turned out really good.
To make this into a great dessert, try topping it with a dessert sauce as found in any of these recipes: cottage pudding, Woodford pudding, Irish soda bread pudding.