Low FODMAP Ham & Cheese Strata
When Robin and I owned our bakery, Harvest Moon, we were so spoiled. Everyday we had access to fresh croissants, Danish, French bread, sourdough boules and all sorts of other bread. This Ham & Cheese Strata shows you a great way to use up leftover bread – and is a great re-purposer of any leftover ham, such as from our Brown Sugar Baked Ham.
At Harvest Moon we made all of those pastries and breads fresh from scratch every single day. We did have a “Day Old” bin for our customers at a reduced rate, but we ate the fresh stuff. I can tell you that at the end of a long shift I would grab a baguette and if I didn’t put it in the back seat, out of reach, it was half gone by the time I got home. I would just bite hunks off of it as I rolled along. We didn’t have cell phones in those days; all the better to keep hands free to eat!
Old Bread Gets a New Life
We also got really good at re-purposing the day old bread so as not to waste it. A couple of times a week I would make a savory bread pudding that we called a strata. I would combine hunks of day-old bread with a custard of eggs and cream, throw in some cheese, maybe some ham, and I always added chopped tomatoes as they added welcomed color and moisture.
This Ham & Cheese Strata works well for breakfast but our customers used to buy it for lunch or an afternoon snack as well. We think you will see the versatility once you try it.
After we made the Brown Sugar Baked Ham we had leftovers and the memories of our strata came back to me. Time to make a low FODMAP version! It worked like a charm.
Ham & Cheese Strata
Our low FODMAP Ham & Cheese Strata uses up leftover bread and is also a great way to use any ham that you might have leftover from our Brown Sugar Baked Ham. This strata is great warm or at room temperature for breakfast, lunch or a snack.
Makes 16 servings
- 10 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups (480 ml) lactose-free milk or half-and-half, such as Organic Valley
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh
- Kosher salt, optional
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (225 g) cubed low FODMAP, gluten-free French bread
- 8 ounces (225 g) ham, diced, such as from our Brown Sugar Baked Ham
- 8 ounces (225 g) shredded cheese, such as cheddar, Gruyere, Monterey Jack or a combination
- 1/2 dry pint (275 g) diced tomatoes, halved
- Whisk together the eggs very well in a large bowl with milk or half-and-half. Whisk in mustard and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Note that the cheese and ham bring a lot of salt to the mix. I often make this strata without salt, so at the very least use a light hand. But absolutely do add black pepper, which adds balance to the dish. Fold in cubes bread and allow to sit while you preheat oven.
- Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Coat the inside of a 13 x 9-inch (33 cm x 23 cm) casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Fold ham, cheeses and tomatoes into strata mixture and scrape into prepared pan.
- Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes or until custard is set. The strata will puff up a bit and exposed pieces of bread will get crispy here and there, which is perfect. Cool pan on a rack for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. The strata can be refrigerated but should be warmed at least up to room temperature, which you can do in the microwave or a low oven.