Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegetable and Cheese Strata with Homemade Artisan Bread


Carole has been raving to me for months about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes, and how it's changed her outlook on making bread, pizza dough, etc., so after reading her post last week, I thought I'd give it a try too. The first time you make it, it needs to be refrigerated overnight so I prepped the dough on Wednesday afternoon (literally takes less than 10 minutes) and then threw it in the fridge to be used for paninis on Thursday night. Then I sat down at my computer and promptly ordered the book from Indigo since I was now a non-machine, homemade-bread convert.

For detailed online directions, go to Carole's post for February 6--"Kitchen Sink Pizza." Another blogger dubbed it "Artisan Bread for 40 cents a Loaf... No Kneading, No Fussing, No Kidding." Could there be a better endorsement than that for anyone who's ever been intimidated by baking bread?


I've documented my fun in the photos below... the end result may not have been pretty but it's real and it reflects my life and it sure smelled oh-so-yummy on a February night and tasted perfect too. Best eaten fresh on the day of baking but the leftovers worked well in the strata the following night. Doubly delicious.

Four simple ingredients... three easy steps... all done in about five minutes and then into the fridge to rise.

Huge yeast bubbles promise great loaves to come.
Yikes! Note to self: next time don't use the top rack because dough rises and will stick to the heating grill at the top. Duh. (Still delicious and salvageable but had to do some 'xplaining to the family and grateful we didn't have company.)



Vegetable and Cheese Strata
(Serves 4.)
Adapted from Epicurious recipe

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
enough leftover homemade artisan bread cut into 1-inch cubes to measure 3 cups (or whatever bread you have on hand)
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
3 large eggs
2 cups milk
salt and pepper


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the onion, mushrooms, peppers and zucchini over low heat, stirring, for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until all the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated and the peppers are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Arrange half the bread cubes in a buttered shallow baking dish, spread half the vegetable mixture over them, and sprinkle half the cheddar and half the parmesan over the vegetables. Arrange the remaining bread cubes over the cheeses, top them with the remaining vegetables, and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the strata, and chill the strata, covered, overnight or for at least three hours. Let the strata stand at room temperature for 15 minutes and then bake it in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until it is puffed and golden and cooked through.


Rest of the week
Feb 11 Vegetable and Cheese Strata
Feb 12 Ordered Greek food with the kiddies

2 comments:

mamashack said...

so pretty!
ppsssst, you have to cook the bread on the centre rack
lolol

Jen H said...

LOVE stratas and this one looks good. Too bad about the center burn marks, but the bread looks great otherwise, I made HBin5 rye bread this weekend and it's delicious!

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