Cinnamon Sausage Brekkie

Serves 4-6      I’ve watched my husband eat pancakes with maple syrup that got all over his sausage and eggs for years. Then I decided to make a savory breakfast dish that incorporates some of those tastes together and posted it back in November. However, this latest version leans more to the sweet side, using good maple syrup and cinnamon bread. The result got good reviews from my volunteer tasters (thanks Christy and Pat) so I’m putting it on my next brunch menu. In fact, we almost ate most of it before I could a photo. Use a good, high quality maple syrup , if possible. The real thing, not one that is simply maple “flavored”, really does make a difference.

 

Ingredients:

5 eggs

3/4 cup half & half or whole milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp good maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 lb. regular ground sausage, broken up, browned and cooked through

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 pieces of Cinnabon® Cinnamon bread (*see note) – preferably day old

Maple syrup

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350º     Generously butter a casserole dish big enough to hold the bread/egg mixture comfortably. You will also need a large pan to set the casserole dish inside while baking.

 

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and then brown the sausage. Break it into chunks with a spoon or spatula and cook until the meat is cooked throughout. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

 

Tear slices of bread into chunks and place as evenly as possible in the casserole dish.

 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, cinnamon, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and melted butter. Mix them well, then carefully pour the mixture over the bread. With the back of a large spoon, hold the pieces of bread in the mixture until each piece has absorbed it. This doesn’t take long.

 

Then gently stir in the sausage to distribute it throughout. Drizzle the top with some maple syrup – about 1 Tbsp or so.

Set the casserole into the larger pan and carefully add about 1” of water. Then cover both pans with a piece of aluminum foil and seal it. Tent it as needed so it doesn’t touch the bread pudding. Cut 3 slits in the top of the foil. Place all in the oven at 350º for 40 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil and continue to cook it uncovered for another 25-40 minutes — until the top is puffy and the custard is set. How long it takes depends on the casserole dish you use and your individual oven.

 

Remove it from the oven and then carefully remove the casserole dish from the water bath. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes or so. You can serve it hot or warm.

 

Note: *You could also use cinnamon raisin bread, or regular bread and increase amount of cinnamon used by 1/2 – 1 tsp. depending on your preference.