I’m passionate about a lot of foods – flats over drums when it comes to wings, smooth over crunchy if debating peanut butter, cheese curds over mozzarella sticks when I’m digging into fried cheese, and bagels over donuts in regard to holy breakfast-focused baked goods.
I’m most passionate about the fact that the best bagels are found in New York or New Jersey. I admittedly haven’t tried every bagel place in Chicago, but I’ve tried my fair share, and driven to enough suburbs, to maintain my conviction. I’ve tried making my own bagels – nope, not the same. I’ve eaten bagels in Toronto which were not bad by any means, but they certainly weren’t a New York bagel. I also recently read the New York Times article stating California had the best bagels, and I simply don’t believe it (but I’m willing to try them, in the name of science, of course!).
Anytime I go home to New Jersey to visit my parents, I always have an extra carry on, strictly for bagel transport. I freeze the bagels in individual plastic bags and make them last as long as I possibly can. The dogs in my family are passionate about bagels, too.
Bagels are a viable option for any meal as far as I’m concerned, and I can’t think of anything better than a brunch with bagels and lox, or maybe a bagel breakfast sandwich, or a pizza bagel.
So, I channeled my love of bagels into an Everything Bagel Strata. A strata is essentially a savory bread pudding featuring eggs, bread, cheese, dairy, and your choice of add-ins such as vegetables and proteins. Stratas (and bread puddings) are always best made with day-old or somewhat dried out bread (so it can soak up the custard), and I love that you can (and should, in my opinion) make a strata the night before. It helps the flavors meld together and makes for an easy morning!
You can use any bread you like, though I recommend a loaf you can cut into cubes (as opposed to sliced bread) or bagels. The dense chewy inside and crust on the outside makes for a really delicious texture difference! My everything bagel strata with lox is sure to be a hit for your next brunch, or as far as I’m concerned, breakfast for dinner. It also heats up really well if you freeze it in individual pieces for a quick breakfast on the go. Feel free to change up the ingredients and use a different flavor profile, too!
Everything Bagel Strata
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 45-60 min
Inactive time: 2-24 hours
3 bagels (any savory flavor – I used asiago cheese)
1.5 cups milk
0.5 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons everything bagel seasoning, divided
1 red onion, small dice (reserve 2 Tablespoons)
2 scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated)
1/4 cup capers (divided in half)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces cream cheese
6 slices lox
1. Cube bagels into 1-inch pieces and place in large bowl.
2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, cream, and 2 Tablespoons of Everything Bagel seasoning.
3. Pour egg mixture over cubed bagels.
4. Mix in red onion, white parts of the scallion, and 2 Tablespoons capers.
5. Pour mixture into an 8x8 baking dish.
6. Place small dollops of cream cheese in and on top of mixture.
7. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
8. Preheat oven when ready to bake to 350 degrees.
9. Bake for 45-60 minutes until just set, and golden brown on top.
10. Cut into individual portions and serve each with a slice of lox, a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning, the reserved capers and red onion, the green part of the scallion and cherry tomatoes.
If this strata has got your in the mood to bake, you’ve got to check out some of our upcoming classes! We have some fantastic virtual baking classes coming up:
- Virtual Cupcake Workshop Saturday, April 24 2pm CST
- Virtual Cake Donut Workshop Saturday, May 1 2pm CST
Or maybe you’re local to Chicagoland and ready to join us for an in-person brunch class at Lincoln Square? We’ve got some great options for that too:
- The Perfect Pair – Bread and Soup Demo Sunday, May 2 11am
- Mother’s Day Spring Brunch Demo Sunday, May 9 11am
- Hands-on Dim Sum and Then Some Sunday, May 16 10:30am
- New Orleans Brunch on the Grill Demo Sunday, May 23 11am
- Brunch Al Fresco: Demo on the Patio Sunday, May 30 11am
Bread pudding is this week's challenge for our private Facebook group members. Give this strata a try to meet the challenge!