What do you get when you put your whole breakfast in a baking dish and bake it in the oven? A strata, that’s what. There are four things almost every strata I’ve ever seen has: eggs, toasted bread cubes, milk and cheese. Beyond that, it’s pretty much up to you.
I don’t recommend you do this during the work week, because you have to do the prep the night before. It then takes an hour or more to preheat the oven, then bake the strata. So, unless you get up really early, or you work at home like I do (when I’m not on tour), save this for the weekend when you can really enjoy it. Let’s have some fun!
7 cups ciabatta or other hearty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 packages (8 oz.) presliced Baby Bella mushrooms
1 1/2 cupsshredded Swiss cheese
8 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
3 cups half and half or milk
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
The night before you want to serve this:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Arrange bread in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350° for 1o minutes then turn. Toast another ten minutes or so. When done, remove from oven and place bread cubes in a large bowl.
Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add butter and let it melt. As soon as it’s melted, add onion and mushrooms to pan. Cook for minutes or until liquid has evaporated and onions and mushrooms are tender.
Coat a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. Pour half of bread mixture into dish.
Sprinkle with half of cheese and half of bacon over top of bread and mushrooms.
Add the rest of the bread mixture, then top again with cheese and bacon.
Crack eggs into large bowl. Use a whisk to break the yolks, then beat them like they stole your remote.
Add half and half or milk and beat again. A lot.
Add thyme, garlic powder, pepper and salt, and beat one last time.
Pour milk and eggs over everything in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours).
One hour before serving:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove strata from the fridge and let it stand at room temperature while the oven heats up, so that it’s all nice and happy.
Bake the strata, still covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
The bread is very important in this recipe. It needs to be good and hearty so that it stands up to being soaked with milk and eggs. Don’t wimp out and use white bread, OK?
I like to sprinkle a bit more cheese over the top of the strata while it cools. Why? It just looks good. Then, once served to plates, I’ll sprinkle just a little more.
This makes a great weekend breakfast or brunch. For breakfast, add some fruit; for brunch, add some tomato slices.
By the way, the fact that this recipe includes both bacon and mushrooms qualifies it as both a Manly Meal, and Hobbit-Approved. Just so you know. have fun, and don’t forget to:
Play with your food!
Try my other Breakfast Recipes here.
Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.