Ham & Cheddar Strata

1 - 8 oz. loaf French/Italian bread, sliced 1" thick and dried out

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
5 eggs
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ham, diced
16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

In a blender, combine milk, cream, eggs, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper.  Blend until well combined.  Arrange dried out bread into a 3 qt. baking dish and sprinkle with diced ham and cheese.  I lean some of the slices forward to tuck filling underneath, and finish by sprinkling the remainder on top.  Pour liquid mixture, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.  

Remove dish from refrigerator one hour before baking to take the chill off and assure the mixture will bake evenly.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap and then cover the dish with aluminum foil.  Bake covered with aluminum foil for one hour, then remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and serve.

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