Strata, breakfast casserole, savoury french toast bake or bread pudding. It doesn’t matter what you call this, it’s totally delish, it’s something a little different and requires just FIVE ingredients – bacon, eggs, cheese, milk and bread. It tastes like a cross between a quiche, french toast and an omelette!
This is one of those “throw together” breakfasts that I can always manage to scrap together some version of as long as I have eggs and bread. I was inspired to share this because a number of readers reached out asking for suggestions for breakfasts to feed a houseful of guests over the Easter period. And while I was able to give them a few suggestions, it dawned on me that I didn’t actually have any breakfasts on my blog that are handy for serving up to large groups.
It also happened to be Easter Friday when I went to make this. No stores open. So I rummaged around in my freezer and the back of my fridge and managed to come up with breakfast staples to knock out this simple but totally scrumptious Cheese and Bacon Strata Cake aka Bread Bake / Savoury Pudding.
Usually I would just make this in a casserole dish. But it is Easter after all, and I didn’t post any Easter desserts so I thought I’d make up for it by doing something a little bit different with this bread bake and turn it into a bread bake cake!
I don’t need to describe to you how easy this is to make. You can see for yourself. Just bread (preferably stale), eggs, milk, bacon and cheese. Leave it to soak at least 30 minutes, or overnight, pour into a bake tin and bake. That’s it!
I’ve made bread bakes plenty of times before – it’s one of my “dinner in a snap” fallbacks because I always have eggs, milk and bread in stock and I can throw in whatever bits and pieces I have leftover in the fridge. It’s like the “other frittata” – you know you can turn any leftovers into a frittata? I do the same with bread bakes.
But I’ve never made it in cake form before. And the inner child in me swears that this tastes so much better served up in slices like a cake than when it’s just made in a baking dish. Look! Don’t you think it looks like a cake? Or maybe a really puffy quiche?
This tastes like a cross between a quiche, omelette, french toast and bacon and eggs. A mash up of all my favourite breakfast foods! It’s lovely and moist on the inside, almost custardy, but not soggy. And the edges and top are my favourite, golden brown and crunchy….
And look at it, isn’t it pretty? I like the way you sort of get “swirls” throughout the “cake”, which are really just the crust of the baguette I chopped up to make this breakfast “cake”.
I hope you have a lovely Easter break! And for those readers that I know have a houseful of guests this Easter, I hope this Cheese & Bacon Bread Cake
- 10 oz / 300g bacon, diced
- 6 eggs
- 1¼ cups milk (full or low fat)
- ¼ tsp salt (ordinary table sale) or ½ tsp sea salt flakes or kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 7 cups (lightly packed) baguette / french stick cut into 2 cm / 1 inch cubes (preferably slightly stale)
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (Note 1)
- Parsley, finely chopped (garnish - optional)
- Heat a large non stick pan over high heat. (Use a bit of oil if not using non stick). Add all but 2 tbsp of bacon (reserve for topping) and cooked until lightly browned. Remove from the fry pan and drain on a paper towel.
- Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Place the bread in a large ziplock bag. Pour in the egg mixture, 1½ cups cheese and cooked bacon (reserve the uncooked bacon). Seal and massage the egg into the cubes. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (until all the egg is soaked into the bread) or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Spray a 21cm/8" springform cake tin (Note 2). Pour the bread mixture into the cake tin, pat down to compress and scatter with remaining uncooked bacon and remaining ½ cup cheese. Cover loosely with foil or with a pan lid.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for a further 10 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing the springform and cutting into slices to serve. Garnish with parsley if using.
2. If you don't want to make this in a springform pan, use a 10"/25cm square baking dish. Also, you can mix the bread and egg mixture straight into the baking dish instead of in a ziplock bag. The ziplock bag is used to prevent egg mixture from leaking from the springform pan while it is set aside.
Nutrition assuming 8 servings. The calories are overstated because the bacon is drained of fat but I can’t determine how much fat is drained.