I made this a couple of months ago, taking a lead from a sweet bread pudding for the 'bread to egg/milk' ratio, but that's where the comparison ends. This one is very savory, and very breakfast-y. My husband, a breakfast lover, flipped over this one. I think it's very good, as well. It feeds a larger crew. I cook for two, so leftovers must hold up well in the refrigerator, or freeze. In this dish's case, the leftovers do.
8 cups stale bread, cut into bite sized pieces (any herb infused bread works well here, too)
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. breakfast sausage
1/3 lb. cheddar cheese, shredded
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Into a large mixing bowl, add bread pieces. Set aside.
Into a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Pour milk over bread pieces, and set aside.
In a large saute pan set over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic, and saute until fragrant, but not brown. Add onion and bell peppers, and saute until onions become slightly translucent. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and add to egg and bread mixture. Stir to combine.
To the saute pan, add the breakfast sausage, and cook through, breaking it up as you go. Add the cooked sausage and cheese to the egg and bread mixture. Stir to combine.
Pour into a large (ungreased) glass baking dish, filling only 2/3 full (it rises in the oven, as it cooks). I usually need one 9" x 13" pan, plus two 6" ramekins.
Bake until it rises, and browns nicely along the sides, and top edges, about 40 minutes, depending upon your oven.
Leftovers can be cut into serving size pieces, wrapped in plastic, and stored in the refrigerator, or frozen for longer term storage. Leftovers re-heat well in a microwave oven. A dollop of sour cream on top is a nice touch, as well.