- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 8 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Nutmeg, to taste
- An assortment of sliced breads such as cinnamon-strudel, banana-nut and/or English muffins, waffles, cinnamon-raisin, etc., cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (enough to fill a 13x9x2 baking dish)
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 2 McIntosh apples, cored and coarsely chopped
- Pure maple syrup, for serving
Butter a 13x9x2 glass baking dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Arrange the bread cubes in the bottom of the prepared baking dish then scatter the raisins and apples over top. Pour the milk and egg mixture on top of the breads and fruit, pressing down to submerge the breads completely. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least a few hours -- preferably overnight -- to allow the breads to soak up all the milk.
To bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
Bake the strata uncovered until puffed and golden, and a knife inserted into its center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut the strata into squares and serve with maple syrup.