Ever since I was little my Christmas morning breakfast has included what we've always called "Grandma's Christmas Morning Strata." I've later learned that it's my Grandmother's version of the Good Old Fashioned Christmas Morning Wife Saver. No matter what you call it this is perfect combination of bread, eggs, cheese, ham and crushed Special K (yes there is crushed cereal on top of this but trust me it's YUMMY!).
Now wait for it... the best part is you make it the NIGHT BEFORE so on Christmas morning when your kids have woken you up before the crack of dawn and there isn't enough coffee in the world to make you motivated enough to whip together breakfast, just throw this into the oven and you're a Christmas Morning Super Star — just like my Grandma.
Simply cut bread to fit.
Top with ham.
Top with cheese.
Top with more bread cut to fit.
Top with more ham.
Top with more cheese.
Finish off with one more layer of bread cut to fit (here's a helpful image just in case you've lost track!)
Mix everything else (except the butter and cereal)
Pour over strata.
In the morning, top with melted butter and crushed Special K.
Bake and enjoy!
1 1/2 to 2 loaves basic white bread, crusts cut off (I use approx. 21 pieces of Wonder Bread for a 9 x 13 pan)
12 to 16 slices of ham (I use Black Forest)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups milk (I typically use 2%)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried mustard
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 to 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Tabasco
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups Special K cereal, crushed into fine crumbs
Butter 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Cover bottom with slices of bread cut to fit. Top with layer of ham then cheese.
Add second layer of bread cut to fit and top with remaining ham and cheese.
Top with one final layer of bread (see image above if you've lost count).
Beat together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard, onion, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Pour over casserole.
Cover and refrigerate overnight (note I have refrigerated this for as little as 4 hours and it was still awesome!)
In the morning, poor melted butter on top and sprinkle with crushed Special K.
Bake uncovered in pre-heated 350F oven for 1 hour (which gives you plenty of time to get the turkey
Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Note: I ALWAYS use a "deep dish" casserole pan because the bread definitely puffs up and may drip a bit in your oven.