How to Make Breakfast Strata

Breakfast strata is a savory bread pudding that is perfect for serving first thing in the morning, and for cleaning out your refrigerator of stale bread and leftovers. The word "strata" comes from the Latin "layers." A strata pudding is a number of baked layers of bread, meat, cheese and vegetables that are held together with custard.

Steps

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    Determine what you want to put into your strata. Stratas can be flavored in any number of ways, depending on what ingredients you have on hand.
    • They can be meatless, or contain sausage, bacon, chicken or ham.
    • They can also be flavored to resemble different cultural flavors. Try adding salsa for a Mexican-flavored strata, or ginger and leeks for an Asian inspired strata.
    • If you can’t come up with a flavor combination on your own, think about what you like on your pizza; pizza topping combinations can easily be translated into a breakfast strata recipe.
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    Cube several cups of stale bread. Stratas can be made from any non-sweet bread, provided it has been dried out. Dried breads work better in bread puddings, because they absorb the custard more easily.
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    Determine what type of pan you will use. Deeper pans will create a creamier strata, while a more shallow pan will result in a crispier texture.
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    Place a layer of stale bread on the bottom of the pan.
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    Place a layer of any chopped vegetables you are using on top of the bread. The vegetables can be raw or cooked. .
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    Place another layer of bread over the vegetables.
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    Place a layer of any meat you may be using over the second bread layer.
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    Add another layer of bread.
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    Add a layer of cheese to the strata. Choose a cheese that complements the rest of the ingredients, like cheddar mixed with ham.
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    Mix together several eggs, cream and any spices you want to add to the strata in a separate bowl. Beat this well to combine.
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    Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients in the pan.
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    Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least one hour. The strata can also be assembled the night before and refrigerated until morning. The longer the strata is left assembled but uncooked, the more the bread will absorb the custard.
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    Bake the strata at 350°F (180°C) until the custard is set in the center. The cooking time will be dictated by how deep a pan you are using; shallower pans cook faster than deeper ones.
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    Finished.

Tips

  • Save any stale bread in the freezer to be used in a strata at a future date.
  • Use up any leftovers from the previous week. Just chop everything up into bite sized portions before using.
  • Pan fry any raw ingredients quickly before assembling the strata to bring out a greater depth of flavor.
  • Save the cooked strata in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for 15 minutes.

Warnings

  • While strata are frequently made with leftover ingredients, always make sure the food is still edible. Do not use any questionable ingredients.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking dish
  • Bowl
  • Mixer
  • Knives

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: World Cuisines