This is the perfect company breakfast: custardy from fresh farm eggs, milk, and lots of cheese and-best of all-assembled the night before. Not just a convenience for the host, the strata sitting overnight makes the dish more custardy. When we know we’re having a crowd for breakfast on the farm, a strata is our go-to dish.
- 8 ounces Italian bread, cut into ½ inch thick slices (about 16), lightly toasted
- 6 ounces smoked ham, diced
- 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups milk
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Prep Time: 3hr
- Cook Time: 1hr 15m
Grease a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Arrange a layer of bread, a layer of ham, and a layer of cheese in the baking dish. Repeat, making one more layer.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and cayenne and pour over the bread, ham, and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Uncover the strata and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 ½ hours, or until the strata is puffed, golden brown, and set. Let the strata stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Substitute 2 cups of cooked vegetables (such as asparagus, broccoli, or chopped spinach) for the ham.
Make a chicken sausage and apple strata by dicing a large sweet apple and sautéing it in 2 teaspoons of butter until crisp-tender. Use 6 ounces of smoked chicken sausage, thinly sliced, instead of ham. Layer the apple along with the sausage.
Swap in 6 ounces of sliced Canadian bacon for the ham and use Gruyere or Swiss cheese in place of cheddar.
This recipe can be found in our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.