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Turning bad muffins into good bread pudding?

So I was given this recipe that had no sugar in the base but only because there was a hefty amount of sugar in the streusel topping. There was also no salt in the recipe but I assumed that had to be a mistake and added some anyway.

Turns out the lack of sugar in the base was probably another mistake, because these things are NOT GOOD.

I'd like to turn them into bread pudding but am not sure how to approach it when the "bread" part of the equation is subpar.

Any ideas?

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  1. I'm thinking you should soak the muffins with a simple syrup.

    1. Typically, the bread in your usual bread pudding isn't really there for taste, as much as a type of binder to lend some sort of viscosity to various combinations of wet ingredients.

      So, with that said, just use the "bad muffins" like you would regular, stale white bread that you would use for bread pudding.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Okay, that's a good point. Treat it like plain, tasteless bread that also has a little too much baking powder! Heh.

        Seriously, I got so excited after reading the raves from friends, I didn't even vet the recipe. When it was too late, and I read it slowly, I saw that I shouldn't even have attempted it. Four cups of flour and one cup of milk...I don't know what I was thinking!

        A nice custard, some berries, and it'll be all good.

        1. re: Violatp

          That because you use lousy bread. The Ms, the Empress of Sweets according to Claudia Roden, makes bread puddings fit for a state dinner. That's because she starts with an interesting selection of good breads in each pudding.
          Everyone else's bread puddings look like and taste like the cook used worn out towels from the Y

          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

            I'm sure that's all true, but Violalp wasn't asking how to improve the muffins for next time, or how to make the most fabulous bread pudding possible, she was asking how to incorporate admittedly bad muffins into bread pudding so she could salvage them to make something palatable.

            Some people don't like to waste food. Some folks can't afford to waste it. Trying to turn lemons into lemonade and not waste is laudable.

            1. re: ePressureCooker

              I was replying to ipsedixit, Typically the bread etc.

              Me too. Even the Ms is second hand. I found the virtue. She's learned how not to burn the sauce.

              Heres an idea. Get rid of the parts that are too dark. Break the rest into pieces that can be managed with a spoon, Put some into a bowl. Not too much. Cover with milk. Add a scoop of ice cream if you want to kick it up a notch. Eat with spoon. If you don't like what's in the bowl, feed the rest to the birds.

            2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

              That because you use lousy bread. The Ms, the Empress of Sweets according to Claudia Roden, makes bread puddings fit for a state dinner. That's because she starts with an interesting selection of good breads in each pudding.
              Everyone else's bread puddings look like and taste like the cook used worn out towels from the Y.

              Using "good breads" is a waste for bread pudding. If you have to use good bread for a bread pudding it means that your custard base is, well, not very good.

        2. The custard and vanilla should take care of the sweetness.

          1. Bourbon, custard, berries, cream - to the rescue!

            1. Wow, no sugar and no salt? No wonder they tasted bad. Some recipe writer needs a proofreader...

              2 Replies
              1. re: ePressureCooker

                I know! He posted the recipe and swore they were delicious! I was in the mood for baking and threw caution to the wind...sadly.

                1. re: Violatp

                  If you try enough internet recipes out there, you'll discover there are some truly HIDEOUS recipes out there, and that some people have AWFUL taste in food. Makes you wonder what kind of garbage they've been eating that they think THAT is a good recipe. Like the recipe was posted by a "Worst Cook in America" contestant before their audition. #yikes

                  I also love the recipes where someone gives it five stars, then leaves a comment saying all I did was add these five additional ingredients, do this and that different. Great recipe! Review the recipe as given, not as you completely overhauled it!

                  Maybe take this friend's food recommendations with a grain of salt...and sugar...in future...!

              2. Last time I made bread pudding, I used challah as I usually do, but also incorporated a good amount of banana bread I had in the freezer. I had some kind of new fangled recipe that called for pureed bananas and banana liqueur to jazz it up, so I riffed on that. It was good enough that I would do it again. I think it was Emeril's? Anyway, I'd do something like that, or maybe berries as others have suggested?

                1. Cut your losses -- you can't make good bread pudding with lousy muffins.

                  Toss the muffins, burn the recipe, and go buy a good loaf of challah....then drown your sorrows in a GREAT bread pudding.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: sunshine842

                    HAHAHA - well, they're still sitting crumbled up in a baggy in the fridge so that may well end up being the solution (not enough eggs/milk in the house for custard.)

                    I was going to try and do the pudding this weekend but I could well lose interest by then... :-)

                    1. re: Violatp

                      oh, I wasn't joking.

                      You can't make good food when you start with crummy ingredients.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        You can't make good bread pudding with crummy bread.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Oh, I know you weren't joking. It was sort of a sardonic, whatcha gonna do laugh.

                    2. muffins into bread pudding sounds like a soggy mess.

                      1. I would do it by letting them dry out first. Let the muffins sit in the custard mixture overnight. I think they'll be fine. I've had bread pudding made w/ all sorts of different breads/quick breads and they turn out fine.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chowser

                          I made bread pudding once with pumpkin bread that came out too dry. The flavor was good, but the texture was grainy. I wouldn't do it again.

                        2. A trifle might work better than a bread pudding because the custard won't soak into the muffins that have a diff texture and sponge-ability than bread. Maybe make a custard--you could probably cheat and make a cornstarch-based pudding, and make it chocolate for good measure--then layer it with crumbled muffins and perhaps some fresh berries, and, for good measure, serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

                          1. To update should anyone else ever be looking for this answer, it didn't work. The muffins, even crumbled up, were just too dense and it absorbed a *little* but no go. I threw the whole mess away.

                            Ah well.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Violatp

                              Too bad my prior response was deleted. They must have thought that I was being rude. No, that's just the usual me.
                              I proposed cutting off the brown stuff, crumbling them, putting some in a bowl , covering with milk and go at it.