From the SF Gate
Walnut Bread Strata with Swiss Chard
The Walnut Bread Strata with Swiss Chard is a play on a breakfast dish
that usually features fluffy white bread and loads of eggs and cheese.
Reducing the amount of custard and cheese and substituting fresh whole
wheat walnut bread turns it into a whole different animal - it's dense
and crunchy with the slightly sour, deep character of grainy artisan bread.
The strata needs to soak overnight, so all you do the next day is bring
it to room temperature for a half hour - this reduces the cooking time
and the risk of it drying out in the oven - and bake it for 45 minutes.
This strata needs to be assembled the night before baking. It's pretty
hearty, so you can serve it to quite a few people; it would be nice for
a brunch buffet. Serve with fruit salad and sausages, or add 2 cups
cooked and crumbled sausages to the bread when you toss it with the
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves ripped into smaller pieces
3 cups low-fat milk
-- Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/2 pound of whole wheat walnut bread, such as Acme, or whole wheat
levain, bottom crust removed and the rest of the loaf cut into 1-inch cubes
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
Instructions: Use butter or olive oil to grease a 9-by-13 inch baking pan.
Heat the olive in a medium skillet. Add the onion and saute until
tender, 8 minutes. Add the chard and saute for 3 minutes, then add a
splash of water, cover, then cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Set
aside to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs and nutmeg until smooth.
In a bowl, toss the bread with the cheese and the Swiss chard. Spread
out in the prepared pan. Drizzle with the egg mixture so that the bread
is evenly coated. The egg mixture won't cover all of the bread, but try
to poke down any pieces that can be further nestled in the custard (this
way the top will be crunchy and crisp).
Refrigerate overnight then bring to room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake until egg mixture is set and casserole is bubbly, 40-45 minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 200 calories, 13 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat (5
g saturated), 162 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.
Apricot Coffee Cake with Oatmeal Crumble
Lest you fear Mom will think you're trying to force her to be too
healthy, make the Apricot Coffee Cake with Oatmeal Crumble. Each slice
has a layer of dried apricots and streusel running through the center,
making an elegant and delicious addition to a brunch spread.
Supplemented with whole wheat pastry flour, the cake bakes up lighter
than one made with regular whole-wheat flour. Other nourishing
ingredients include rolled oats and low-fat yogurt rather than sour
cream. Though it also contains butter and white sugar to ensure a
delicate and moist texture, the cake ends up having a lot less fat and
more fiber than your typical breakfast pastry, something that mothers
Filling and topping:
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar, lightly packed
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
To make the filling and topping: Soak the apricots in hot water for
20-30 minutes or until soft, then drain thoroughly.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, squishing the butter
with your fingers or a pastry blender until the ingredients are well
combined. Set aside.
To make the coffee cake: Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan or a
9-inch springform pan and preheat the oven to 350°.
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat on medium speed
until creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and almond
extracts, then beat again until smooth.
Whisk or stir together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking soda
and salt in a medium bowl, then gradually add to the butter mixture
while on low speed, until just combined.
If using a Bundt pan: Sprinkle half of the topping evenly over the
bottom of the prepared pan. Pour one-third to one-half of the batter
evenly on top, then sprinkle with the remaining topping and all of the
apricots. Add the rest of the batter in large spoonfuls, then use a
flexible spatula to gently spread the batter to an even thickness (it
helps to grease the spatula first); it's OK if some of the filling mixes
in. Follow baking directions, below.
If using a springform pan: Pour one-third to one-half of the batter
evenly in the prepared pan, then sprinkle with half of the topping and
all of the apricots. Add the rest of the batter in large spoonfuls, then
use a flexible spatula to gently spread the batter to an even thickness
(it helps to grease the spatula first); it's OK if some of the filling
mixes in. Sprinkle with the remaining topping.
Bake until a toothpick placed in the thick part comes out clean, 40-45
minutes for a Bundt pan, 40 minutes for a 9-inch pan. Let cool on a rack
for 10 minutes, then use a thin knife to loosen the edges of the cake.
If using a Bundt pan, invert it onto a serving platter; with a
springform pan remove it from the pan and slide onto a platter.
Per serving: 325 calories, 6 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat (7 g
saturated), 62 mg cholesterol, 185 mg sodium, 4 g fiber