Cheesy Bread Pudding

You can serve this as a main dish for breakfast or brunch, a luncheon dish with a salad, or as a side dish for Sunday dinner. The can assemble it the night before so you only have to bake it.

Serves 6 as a main course; 10 to 12 as a side dish

  • butter, at room temperature, to grease a casserole dish
  • 2½ cup whole or 2% milk
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • five 1-inch thick slices French bread, crusts removed or 7-8 slices regular sandwich bread
  • 4 oz (115gr) Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
  • 4 oz (115gr) Colby or mild Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter an 8 x 8-inch glass casserole dish. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In a medium-size bowl, toss the cheeses together.

Place a layer of bread to cover most of the bottom of the dish. Fill in the gaps with pieces of bread, if needed. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Place the second layer of bread over the cheese and again, fill in any large gaps with extra bread. Carefully pour the milk and egg mixture over the entire casserole. It will seem like a lot, but the bread will soak it up as it cooks. Top with the remaining cheese. 

At this point you can cover and refrigerate the strata for up to 24 hours before baking.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the casserole is very puffy and the cheese is golden brown on top. Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Because this is a soufflé-like dish, it will deflate a few minutes after you take it out of the ovenbut will still be delicious. 

You can dress this dish up by stirring a teaspoon of dried rosemary, thyme, or herbes de Provence into the milk and egg mixture. Adding crumbled, crisped bacon to the centre cheese layer is especially good for breakfast.

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