I like Paula Deen. I am Southern, she is one of my people. My grandmother does not cook like Ina Garten or Giada or even Alton. She cooks like Paula. I like butter and lard and fried things and mayonnaise and cheese, and I will make no apologies for this.
With that declaration in mind, I present you with this:
Doughnut. Bread. Pudding.
Allow me to fill in the back story. My job kind of sucks, and in an attempt to at least pretend like I enjoy it, I bring in doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. It is impossible to be in a bad mood around all that gently deep fried doughy goodness. Last Friday, I bought a dozen glazed and a dozen assorted. I still had the assorted dozen left when I left the office Friday, so I took them home to deal with later.
Sunday rolled around, and I had ten very stale doughnuts sitting on the kitchen table. So I turned to Paula. Her recipe is here. I has to adapt it for what I had on hand, and also because canned fruit cocktail is vile and disgusting. Here is the recipe, more or less:
One dozen stale doughnuts
3/4 cup toasted pecans
One can condensed milk
1/2-3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2-3/4 cup milk
Spices, as desired (see note below)
Roughly chop doughnuts and pecans, place in a large bowl. Whisk half the can of condensed milk, regular milk (start with 1/2 cup of each, add more if needed), buttermilk and eggs. Pour over doughnut mixture and stir to coat. Mixture should be wet, but not gloopy. If needed, add more milk. Pour into a 9×9 baking dish and bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy on top.
In the meantime, on a small pot, heat other half of condensed milk until caramel colored. Thin with milk if needed. Salt to taste. Serve over bread pudding.
Note: my doughnuts included four pumpkin cake, two chocolate cake, three glazed and one chocolate iced glazed. Thanks to the pumpkin, I only needed a little cinnamon and chili powder. Depending on your doughnut composition, you might want to adjust.