Enjoy the taste of summer for breakfast or brunch with these Muffin Pan Stratas with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomatoes!
A couple of weeks ago I received the latest King Arthur Flour catalog and was immediately smitten with the photo on the cover. It was a pane bianco, a figure-eight-shaped cheesy Italian bread that’s studded with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and baked to perfection.
I followed the recipe to the last detail. Womp. Womp.
The first time I mixed everything together, I made the mistake of using the amount of flour called for in the recipe. As soon as it came together, I knew I had a bomb on my hands. The dough was so tough I could barely knead it. So, I tossed it and started over.
The second time, I used two-thirds of the flour and added in only what was necessary. The result was a lovely, silky dough. I waited eagerly for it to rise and I thought I was well on my way to bread-baking success.
Although the bread rose beautifully, I didn’t get the beautiful ridges and speckles of basil and sun-dried tomatoes. Oh well. Even people who cook for a living have recipe fails. (Facebook cellphone photo below.)
Because it didn’t look like the photo, no one wanted to try it even though it tasted great! So, I made lemonade out of lemons! Or, shall I say, I made strata–individual Muffin Pan Stratas with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
If you have a bread-baking disaster or just have some bread you want to use, a strata is the perfect way to use it.
What is a strata?
- A strata is a dish made up of layers of bread, cheese and meat or vegetables. A custard made with eggs and milk is poured over it and then it’s refrigerated before baking so the bread soaks up the custard.
Because the bread already had basil, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese, I just added more.
How to make Muffin Pan Stratas with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Cube the bread and place it into a bowl. Add the the basil, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese and divide equally into the muffin cups.
- Combine the eggs and milk and pour over the bread. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Then bake!
- Run a knife around the rims of the muffin cups and they’ll pop right out!
Garnish with fresh basil and you’ve got a lovely taste of summer for breakfast or brunch!
Want another great strata recipe? Try my Four Cheese Strata with Zucchini and Tomatoes. Another perfect summer breakfast or brunch dish!
- Cooking spray
- 5 cups cubed Italian or French bread, packed
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese, Mozzarella or Fontina
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk or half-and-half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-muffin muffin pan with cooking spray.
Combine cubed bread, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, cheese and salt and black pepper in a large bowl and toss to evenly distribute ingredients. Press even amounts of the mixture into each muffin cup.
Whisk together eggs and milk or half-and-half. Season with salt and black pepper.
Carefully pour into each muffin cup over the bread mixture.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed, golden and set. Loosen stratas from sides of pan with a thin knife and serve immediately.