Here is an example of how to put all the principles of making strata into practice. It uses whole wheat bread and leftover baked ham and is flavored with mustard and sharp cheddar cheese. I love to serve a rich strata--even for brunch--with a tossed green salad.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Tear or cut the bread into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a single layer on a large baking sheet and toast until crisp and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Toss the ham, scallions and 2 cups of the cheese with the bread in a large mixing bowl until well distributed.
Butter or oil a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Transfer the bread mixture into the baking dish and pour over the custard over it. Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag filled with rice or beans. Press down to submerge the bread.
Let the strata soak for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
If the strata was chilled, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 375°F and remove the weights and plastic wrap. Sprinkle on the remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake until the strata is puffed, bubbly, and the top is well browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry