We haven’t had an egg bake in several months. My P.S. was asking (begging) for a big pan of egg bake to eat for breakfast for a few mornings. I wanted one that was like an everything omelet: ham, broccoli, tomatoes onions, hash browns and lots of cheese. I like them made with rustic, crusty bread and when P.S. brought a loaf home, breakfast was ready to happen.
I cubed about ¾ of the humungous round loaf of sourdough bread. I set aside 8 thick slices to use to make Panini at another time. I put the bread cubes onto a large sheet pan and let it set about 24 hours to dry out. Day old or dry bread is best so it can soak up the egg mixture.
I used a large nonstick skillet with a drizzle of oil and put in the diced red peppers, hashbrowns, and diced onions. As they fried I roughly chopped some broccoli into 1” pieces and added them to the skillet. I let the contents of the skillet fry for about 8 or 9 minutes, until they were lightly browned.
While they sautéed I diced up a couple of cups of ham and 3 large Roma tomates. I also dug two bags of shredded cheese out of the fridge, choosing sharp cheddar and Colby jack.
Ready to assemble, I sprayed a 9×13-in pan well and started with a layer of half of the bread cubes. I spread out half of the sautéed vegetables next, followed by half of the diced ham and tomatoes.
I used a cup of each of the cheeses over the top. Then I started over, with a layer of each of the remaining ingredients, topped by the rest of the cheeses. My pan was bulging and I wondered if I had overfilled it, but decided it was too late to panic. I was in it for the long haul already.
I whisked 16 eggs with the seasonings until the dry mustard was fairly well mixed in. The dry mustard is always a bit fussy about wanting to play well with others. I added 2 cups of cream and whisked it again until it was foamy and mixed well.
I started to pour the egg mixture over the layers and of course it decided to roll out of the pan right away. I’d pressed down the pan layers to make them fit the pan better. I just had to pour the egg mixture slower, so that it would sink into the layers. I made sure I covered every inch of the top as the liquid was absorbed into the layers.
I let the pan sit for 30 minutes so that the bread would soak up the egg mixture, then put it into the oven for 1 ½ hours. I checked it at an hour and decided to cover it with foil to prevent it from over-browning. It was already perfect on top, we were just waiting for the center to set up.
At 1 ½ hours a knife wiggled around in the center showed that it was set and no longer wet. It was done and it smelled SO good! I let it cool for 15 minutes then cut 2 servings. It was 1 am and my P.S. was up and getting ready for work. I ate breakfast with him, I couldn’t resist the delicious smell of the egg bake wafting all over my house.
The egg bake was so flavorful with the broccoli, I’d never put that in an egg dish before. I also liked the hash browns. They gave it a nice rounded taste very much like an everything omelet. The tangy bites of tomato gave the egg bake a nice touch of acid that complimented the egg flavor. I had a huge piece and went to bed happy.
I just refrigerated the pan of egg bake since it was so late at night. The next day I cut it into pieces and put them in a large plastic container I stored in the fridge. From there we microwaved it for breakfast for several days. I often freeze it in pieces but didn’t get a chance to do that this time. It went too fast!
Loaded Egg Bake
10 cups diced rustic bread (I used a sourdough)
Drizzle of olive oil
1 red sweet bell pepper; diced
2 cups frozen hash browns
½ cup onion; diced (I used 2 shallots)
2 cups broccoli; roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups ham; diced
3 Roma tomatoes; diced
2 cups sharp cheddar; shredded
2 cups Colby jack; shredded
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 cups heavy cream
Dice bread into 1” cubes and lay out on a sheet pan overnight to dry out.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Sauté red peppers, hash browns, onions and broccoli in a large nonstick skillet on medium high until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Spray 9×13-in pan well with cooking spray. Layer half of the bread cubes over the bottom of the pan. Layer half of the vegetable mixture. Layer half of the cubed ham and tomatoes. Layer half of the cheddar and Colby jack cheeses.
Start over and layer remaining ingredients in the same order. Press down to make the ingredients even.
In a bowl whisk the eggs with the dry mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add cream and whisk again until frothy and mixed well. Carefully pour egg mixture over the pan, covering it fully. Let pan set for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture.
Bake for 1 ½ hours in the preheated oven. Check after an hour and cover with foil if the top is getting too dark. The top should be lightly browned and crispy.