Start to finish: 2 hours (15 minutes active)
Butter for buttering the baking pan
8 slices homemade-style white or whole-wheat bread, crusts removed
1/4 pound thinly sliced cheese (Gruyere, cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, et cetera)
2 ounces thinly sliced boiled ham, prosciutto or smoked turkey
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 cups whole milk
In a lightly buttered 8-inch-square baking dish, arrange 4 slices of the bread flat on the bottom, trimming the slices if necessary to fit snuggly in one layer. Cover each slice with one-fourth of the cheese and one-fourth of the meat and top each one with another slice of bread to form a sandwich.
In a bowl beat the eggs lightly with the salt, add the milk and beat until combined well. Pour the mixture over the sandwiches, cover and chill 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the sandwiches on the middle shelf of the oven uncovered until they are browned around the edges and just set in the center, about 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer a baked sandwich to each of 4 plates and serve right away.
Nutritional information: 454 calories; 205 calories from fat; 23 g fat (11 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 223 mg cholesterol; 1,113 mg sodium; 36 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 26 g protein.
Sara Moulton, Associated Press