Berry Beautiful

If you've ever had fresh strawberries in January in Wisconsin, you know how excited people get about the berries showing up in our markets in May and June. Gone are the bland berries of winter. Instead, we're treated to juicy, sweet berries that are the stuff of dreams. So we eat them in just about everything we enjoy from morning 'til night. And brunch is a lovely place to begin.

By putting together a simple breakfast casserole that takes a lot of suggestions from bread pudding the night before, the task that awaits you in the morning is preheating the oven and baking this great dish. Make some coffee, put together a fruit plate, and enjoy the wonderful aroma that fills the house. Spring is a wonderful time to enjoy long, luxurious brunches with family and friends. Even if you don't have a reason for celebrating — and May offers several including Mother's Day — simply gracing your table with this dish becomes one!

While this dish is enough to make the meal, it also pairs beautifully with many other breakfast dishes to make a stunning brunch buffet. Just make sure you double your batch — I can guarantee there will be folks coming back for seconds!

Strawberry Brioche Breakfast Bake

  • 1 loaf brioche bread or several smaller brioche rolls, torn into pieces
  • 1 lb. sliced strawberries
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ c. milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Place the torn pieces of brioche and the sliced strawberries in a 9x13-inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside.

    Whisk together the eggs, milk, and cinnamon. Pour evenly over the bread and fruit. Cover and refrigerate until morning.

    Preheat the oven to 350° F and allow the baking dish to warm on the counter. When the oven is ready, bake the brioche mixture, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until golden and the eggs are set. Serve warm.

    • Yields: 8-10 servings
    • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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