Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Strata Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Several years ago I discovered overnight casseroles. What I didn't know was that they are sometimes called a strata. The concept of an overnight breakfast is brilliant. You assemble them the day or night before you need them and then refrigerate overnight. The next morning you place the strata into a preheated oven, set the timer and bake the strata for about an hour while you take a shower, get dressed, relax or read a newspaper. This is great when you have overnight guests or your family over for breakfast, or brunch.
Melt the butter and mix in brown sugar and corn syrup
One year for Mother's Day our families gathered at my mother's house to enjoy a brunch consisting of quiche and a strata. My sister made a speckled egg bake which was a big hit too. It was probably the easiest brunch we've ever served.
Make sure the brown sugar is dissolved

If you’re not a morning person, you’re going to love this recipe. Just put it together before going to bed. After assembling it, cover it with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator, clean your dirty dishes and go to bed.
Pour syrup mixture into a greased 9"x13 inch pan
In the morning when you get up preheat the oven to 350°F. Start your coffee and when the oven temperature reaches 350°F. remove the plastic wrap and place the strata into the oven. Take a long shower, enjoy a cup of coffee and in about 60 minutes your breakfast will be ready to serve. Here's how to make it.
Arrange apple slices on the syrup base
Overnight French Toast Strata 
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp. corn syrup
2 whole apples, thinly sliced

1 loaf Italian bread, sliced
6 whole eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. real vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon
as needed, cooking spray
Beat together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon
Melt butter in a sauce pan. Once melted add the corn syrup and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Pour this mixture into a lightly greased 9”x13” casserole dish. Lay the apple slices over the syrup and then lay in the overlapping bread slices over the apples. Mix together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and pour over the bread slices. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Arrange bread slices over apples
Pour egg mixture over the bread slices
Remove strata from refrigerator and allow to sit while preheating the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and place the uncovered strata into the oven and bake for 50 - 60 minutes depending on the accuracy of your oven.
Strata baked and out of the oven

To check if the strata is fully cooked insert a knife in the center. When it comes out clean, the French toast strata is done. Cut and serve immediately. This strata is similar to a bread pudding, a lot like French toast, and if you put some chopped pecans on the top it may remind you of a taffy apple. This is just one of the many strata or overnight casserole recipes available. There are many others available on the internet. 
Serve the overnight French toast strata
Maybe you prefer a blueberry French toast strata
The breakfast bake possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. If you have an overnight casserole, strata, quiche, or frittata recipe and would like to share it, please attach it to the comments section below. If you have any suggestions about future posts for the summer. let me know that too.
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Next up pan-fried and oven baked frittata
Send in your favorite frittata recipe.  
© TMelle 2014

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