Breakfast Casserole

Original recipe by Paula Dean can be found on Food Network.

1 pound ground maple pork sausage (or bacon – or instead of meat use spinach, diced zucchini, green onions)
6 slices soft hearty white bread
One 8-ounce package shredded Cheddar cheese
8 large eggs (I prefer using 12 eggs)
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I skip this)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes; drain well on paper towels.

Cut and discard the crusts from the bread (I keep the crust). Cut the slices in half, and arrange in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, cutting pieces to fit as necessary to cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with the sausage and cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, seasoned salt and pepper; carefully pour the mixture over the cheese.

Bake casserole until set and golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.