Raspberry Baked French Strata

raspberry baked French strata

I’m a bit indecisive in real life, and this recipe proves it.  Yesterday I wasn’t sure quite sure whether to make Raspberry Bread Pudding or Raspberry Baked French Toast, I came up with a recipe that is a bit of both.  The basic recipe is based on my Baked French Toast, with a few minor tweaks.  I cut down on the egg content and added sugar because I wanted it lighter and sweeter.   I used bread from my leftover Hawaiian Sweet Bread, which gave it an even sweeter taste.  And of course – I added those luscious raspberries.  I wasn’t even sure what to call it, because it’s not a true bread pudding nor is it a French Toast.  So, with a bit of creative license I’m calling it Raspberry Baked French Strata.   It can be served as a dessert or as a breakfast bake. Whatever you call it or however you eat it, it’s delicious!

Frugal Tips:  Stale bread is great for recipes like this!  Never throw it away.  If you don’t want to use it up right away, throw it in the freezer for later.  Just thaw and use.

Raspberry Baked French Strata
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf French bread, cubed (or any kind of stale or day-old bread)
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 2½ C. milk
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 oz. raspberries (or more, if you have them)
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish or cake pan. Put half of the bread crumbs in the pan, spreading out evenly. Top with cream cheese slices. Add the rest of the bread cubes. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the top of the bread cubes/cream cheese. Pat everything down into the pan to ensure it all gets moistened. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least on hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press raspberries gently into the bread mixture, reserving a few for garnish if desired. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Copycat Recipes: Hawaiian Sweet Bread

hawaiian bread

Learning to make your favorite restaurant or prepackaged foods at home not only saves money, it’s usually a lot healthier.   I recently saw a Hawaiian Sweet Bread recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a go.   Instead of using cake rounds, I used a standard bread pan.  I had to bake the bread slightly longer because of that variation.  The two bread rounds would be more authentic and true to the shape of the Hawaiian sweet bread found in stores.  You could also use the dough to make Hawaiian sweet rolls.

Frugal Tip:  Pineapple juice is not an ingredient I buy regularly, but occasionally I’ll stumble upon a recipe that calls for it.  I purchase a large can of pineapple juice and freeze what I don’t need in ice cube trays for future use.  That way, I was able to get the best value at the store without any drop going to waste.  I can use it in this Hawaiian Sweet Bread recipe, marinades, slushies, etc.

Copycat Recipes: Hawaiian Sweet Bread
Recipe type: bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Sweet Hawaiian bread at home for much less than the prepackaged version!
Ingredients
  • Copycat Hawaiian Bread Recipe
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • ½ C. warm water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C. pineapple juice
  • ½ C. water
  • ⅔ C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. ginger (optional)
  • ½ C. butter, melted
  • 6 C. white flour
Instructions
  1. Mix yeast with ½ C. warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. Combine yeast, eggs, pineapple juice, water, sugar, vanilla, butter in a mixer. Add in flour gradually. Dust a cutting board with flour and place the dough on it. Work dough in flour until it’s no longer sticky. Split in two equal sections.
  2. Grease two cake rounds and place dough inside. Let the bread rise until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.


Recipe adapted from:  Allrecipes.com