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Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Strata

Breakfast Bliss: Dive into the Irresistible Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Strata

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Start your day on a flavorful note with the Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Strata – a delightful union of smoky bacon, sharp cheddar, and layers of bread soaked in a savory egg custard. This baked casserole is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a time-saving wonder, as it can be prepared the night before. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the step-by-step process of crafting this breakfast masterpiece that promises to make mornings extraordinary.

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Ingredients:

For the Strata Base:

  • 8 slices of hearty white bread, cubed
  • 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)

For the Egg Custard:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup additional shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Prep and Layer:
    • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
    • Spread half of the cubed bread in the baking dish.
    • Sprinkle half of the cooked and crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and chopped parsley over the bread.
    • Repeat the layers with the remaining bread, bacon, cheese, and herbs.
  2. Prepare the Egg Custard:
    • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, whole milk, Dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
  3. Pour Custard Over Layers:
    • Pour the egg custard evenly over the layered ingredients in the baking dish. Ensure that the custard coats each bread cube for a rich and flavorful result.
  4. Press Down and Refrigerate:
    • Gently press down on the bread layers to ensure even absorption of the custard.
    • Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Preheat and Top with Cheese:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Sprinkle the additional shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the top of the strata just before baking.
  6. Bake to Perfection:
    • Bake the Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Strata for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown, and the custard is set. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  7. Rest and Garnish:
    • Allow the strata to rest for 10 minutes before garnishing with additional chopped parsley, if desired.
  8. Slice and Serve:
    • Slice into squares or rectangles, serve warm, and enjoy the layers of smoky bacon, melted cheddar, and custardy goodness.

Cook Notes:

  • Bread Selection: Choose a sturdy white bread or artisan loaf for the strata to hold up well to the custard.
  • Custard Absorption: Ensure that the bread cubes are evenly coated with the egg custard for a consistent texture throughout the strata.
  • Refrigeration Time: Allowing the strata to refrigerate for an extended period enhances the flavors and ensures a moist and flavorful result.
  • Bacon Texture: Crumble the bacon into bite-sized pieces, aiming for a balanced distribution of bacon throughout the strata.

Variations:

Vegetarian Twist:

  • Omit the bacon and add sautéed vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, or mushrooms for a vegetarian-friendly version.

Spicy Kick:

  • Incorporate diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper to add a spicy kick to the strata.

Herb-Infused Elegance:

  • Mix in fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or chives into the egg custard for an herb-infused flavor profile.

Keto Version:

  • Substitute white bread with a keto-friendly bread or almond flour bread for a low-carb alternative.
  • Use unsweetened almond milk or another low-carb milk substitute in place of whole milk.
  • Opt for keto-friendly cheese options, and ensure the bacon is free of added sugars.

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Low-Carb Version:

  • Choose a low-carb bread alternative or use cauliflower rice for the base of the strata.
  • Replace whole milk with a low-carb milk alternative in the egg custard.
  • Customize the strata with low-carb vegetables like cherry tomatoes or bell peppers.

The Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Strata is a celebration of breakfast indulgence, offering a perfect balance of savory flavors and comforting textures. Whether enjoyed as a family breakfast or a delightful brunch centerpiece, this strata brings warmth and satisfaction to every bite. So, dive into the layers of smoky bacon, sharp cheddar, and custardy goodness, and make each morning a delicious adventure with this irresistible breakfast masterpiece!

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