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Rosemary Focaccia Strata

with Cheddar and Bacon

Rosemary Focaccia Strara

A strata is an Italian savoury bread pudding assembled in layers. This brunch favourite is easily tossed together and can be assembled the night before and baked in the morning, which makes it a great choice for entertaining. It's delicious served with a salad of arugula tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf ACE Bakery Rosemary Focaccia
  • 2 red peppers for roasting
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, diced 
  • 3 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 10 oz grated sharp white cheddar 
  • 6 large free-range organic eggs 
  • 1 cup 2% milk 
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • 1 tsp. Maldon brand salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Roast preppers for 30 minutes until blistered. Remove from the oven and place a bowl over the peppers to allow steam to loosen the skins. Let sit for 20 minutes then slip the skins easily from the roasted peppers.  Cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces and set aside.
  3. Using a serrated knife, slice the Rosemary Focaccia into 1½-inch (3.81-cm) cubes. Place the cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant and sizzling, but not browned. Pour the garlic oil over the focaccia cubes and toss to evenly coat. Bake for 20 minutes until bread is lightly browned and crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the diced bacon in the same skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together the toasted bread cubes with the bacon, roasted pepper, chives and three-quarters of the grated cheddar.
  7. Place the bread mixture into a lightly buttered 9-inch (22.86-cm) square baking dish.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Let rest 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the custard (or cover and refrigerate overnight).
  9. Bake the strata for 45 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
  10. Allow strata to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This recipe is from ACE Bakery.