Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring-time Strata

I for one am a huge fan of breakfast dishes, and with Easter/Spring/what-have-you coming up, this recipe seems to be a good one to share. It takes some forethought (i.e. the bread needs to get crusty overnight), but can be tossed together quickly in the morning so if you have things you need to get done, or would rather visit with your visitors instead of prepare breakfast, give a strata a chance. Plus, it's kinda pretty with the bright color of the berries...

Kids young and old enjoy it. Goes great with coffee, orange juice, or mimosas. And I have to confess: this is not my recipe. I stole it from epicurious!

Berry French Toast Strata

  • 1/2 cup (plus a little extra) pure maple syrup, plus additional for serving (maple tastes best, *but* cheaper varieties can be used with tasty results, and if you add a little extra, you probably won't need any additional on top)
  • 3/4 loaf (or 6 cups) day old bread in one-inch cubes (I buy a loaf of french bread, cut it up and let it sit in the bag for the day)
  • 4 cups berries (fresh can be used, but thawing frozen is so easy - I thaw mine in the fridge overnight)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (lemon isn't always necessary; I've gone without and substituted 1/4 tsp of orange peel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Arrange rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  • Lightly butter 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish or 14-inch oval gratin dish. Pour in maple syrup; scatter bread cubes and berries in dish. (Personally, I find it tastes more french-toasty if you let this sit for 20 minutes or so).
  • In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, lemon zest, and salt; pour over bread cubes.
  • Bake strata until puffed and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool 5 minutes, then serve warm with additional maple syrup.
Serves 8-10 and works as leftovers.


  1. Debbie! This looks fantastic!

  2. Sounds yummy! I'm going to try it for Easter tomorrow!