Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake

And bacon. It also has bacon in it. The magical animal. Or so says the omnipotent Homer Simpson. At least that bumbling animated oaf got something right.

Growing up I had a terrible case of the I-hate-bread-puddings, imagining old people food and Isotoners abound. But then I realized one day that adding bourbon to the mix and a heart stopping amount of butter could make anything better. This time around I opted instead for a savory bake that one could actually feed to one’s family and children that was a mix of ham and cheese grilled sammie with eggs.

Life is better when you can do a mash-up of breakfast foods and childhoo

d favorites. It’s like the Glee of breakfast foods. Get it? Mash up?

*Sidebar* Is anyone else still into that show? As much as I loved it in the beginning, I think I’m kinda getting over it. I’ve tried pin pointing what the jump-the-shark moment was, but I suppose kind of like Grey’s Anatomy – at some point it just didn’t do anything for me anymore.

End rant.

This breakfast bake is put together quite similarly to another bread pudding recipe, chock full of thinly sliced pears and well, as any self respecting girl w/should – chocolate. They’re practically the same, but for that. And the sugar. And the cheese. And the bacon. Ya know.

Everything good and decent in life starts with 2 cups of shredded cheese.

5 slices of bacon, fried and chopped.

Black Forest ham is the hammiest of the Black Forest hams.

And when combined all together with slices of crusty carby French Bread – the world is a more peaceful place and so is your tumtum. Like the mother of a toddler, I just said tumtum. Sorry about that. Truly.

Into a 13×9 inch sprayed pan, line it with one slice of bread, two slices of ham, a drizzle of shredded cheese and then another bread. Lather, rinse, repeat with the rest of the pan – cramming as much of these into the pan as possible.

Once the layers are combined, and the magical animal is sprinkled on top like Oinking Fairy Dust – 8 whisked and beaten eggs with 1 cup of milk are poured over the top of the whole hammy, cheesy pan and tossed into an oven at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

If you’re really feeling like a rebel – you can even make this the night before a family brunch. Because the last thing you want is to be panic with the in-laws arrive and you’re still in your bathrobe with bunny slippers and scrunchie clad.

With fluffy eggs, melty cheese and magical bacon and ham mixed in – this is a dish bestowed upon you by the ham-gods. Mmmm, ham gods.

*Sidebar* Just enjoy this cheesy hammy bake with a side of fruit. It would make your mother happy.

Yield: 8

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake

Ingredients:

1 loaf French Bread, sliced 1/2" slices

8 whole Eggs

1 cup Milk

3/4 pound, sliced Black Forest Ham

2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded or variety of your choice

5 slices Bacon, fried and chopped


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13x9 inch pan with non-stick spray. Slice french bread into 1/2" thick slices. Set aside.

Fry five slices of bacon, let cool and then chop into small pieces. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until evenly combined.

Shred cheddar cheese, or other cheese of your choice, and set aside.


In 13x9, layer one slice of french bread on it's end, placing two slices of ham next to it. Sprinkle on cheese. Layer another slice of french bread next to cheese and ham - like a sandwich standing on it's end. Repeat process until all of bread, ham and cheese has been layered. Sprinkle chopped bacon on top. Pour milk/eggs mixture over the top of the whole pan of bread/ham/cheese.


Place in oven for 40-45 minutes or until egg is cooked through.


Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.


Overnight Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake - www.countrycleaver.com Great for the holidays, or weekend brunch. Make it the night before and bake in the morning!