Monte-Bellaria Christmas Egg Bake

This was an old family recipe originally created by Coach Gene Stefanacci of Clifton Park, New York.  Since some of the original ingredients are no longer available, we have updated the recipe and added some of our own estate created ingredients to make it unique and savory. This recipe is prepared the night before, so you can just pop it in the oven the next morning and you magically have breakfast for six!



12 Slices          Wonder Bread, trimmed
7                        Large Eggs
2 cups              Whole Milk
1/4 Pound       Sliced Ham (6 slices)
1/4 Pound       Sliced White Sharp Cheddar Cheese (6 slices)
1/4 cup            Unsalted Butter
1 tsp                 Monte-Bellaria Culinary Lavender Buds
1 Tbsp              Monte-Bellaria Sonoma Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp                 Monte-Bellaria Lavender Herbed Salt




  1. The night before, cut the crust off 12 slices of Wonder Bread. Place on a sheet pan and dry the bread at 300°F, for 12 minutes. (Drying the bread keeps it from getting too soggy when baking.) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Melt the 1/4 cup of unsalted butter and add the Monte-Bellaria Culinary Lavender Buds. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Strain out the lavender buds and reserve the lavender butter.
  3. Brush the 12 slices of bread with the melted butter.
  4. Turn over the bread slices on the sheet pan and lightly brush the other side with Monte-Bellaria Sonoma Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.
  5. Place a slice of ham on 6 of the slices, followed by a slice of the sharp white cheddar cheese.)
  6. Lightly grease a 13″ x 9″ Pyrex baking dish.
  7. Place the six, butter-side-down slices with the ham and cheese in the baking dish. Top with remaining 6 slices butter-side-up.
  8. Wisk together the eggs and milk, and pour over the top of the bread, ham, and cheese slices. Sprinkle the Monte-Bellaria Lavender Herbed Salt on top.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  10. The next morning, bake with the aluminum foil cover at 350°F, for 30 minutes.
  11. Raise temperature to 375°F, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until browned.
  12. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes to firm up. Serve immediately.

Serves: 6


The recipe originally called for Kraft Old English Cheese Slices (and Coach Stefanacci urged “important: no substitutes!” in his handwritten notes.  But unfortunately, Kraft discontinued these in the late 70s, so we’ll just have to go with White Sharp Cheddar slices. In addition, he just called for “sliced bread,” but in the sixties, sliced bread was synonymous with Wonder Bread, so I’ve called that brand out so there’s no confusion.

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