What's the difference between a strata and a souffle? Is one easier or more reliable?



RobertaJ January 13, 2011
Strata is almost like a bread pudding....only with more custard and less bread. Think of a cross between a bread pudding, a quiche and French toast (only without the crispy bread).

Souffles, on the other hand, are a custard base into which whipped egg whites are folded, gently, so that they lighten and "poof" the mixture while baking,

Stratas are usually soaked in the custard overnight. Souffles are made, baked and served as soon as they come out of the oven, or very shortly thereafter. Stratas can support heavy, rustic ingredients, such as chunks of cheese, sausage and veg, while souffles need very light mix-ins, such as grated cheeses, melted chocolate and minced meats.

Souffles rise. Stratas firm up in a casserole. Souffles fall eventually. Stratas don't,
virgieandhats January 12, 2011
Sure! If you want a good basic strata on which you can elaborate, here is one I have used many times. http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/12/spinach-and-cheese-strata/
Lznaimer January 12, 2011
Thanks so much!
virgieandhats January 12, 2011
Strata is easier in terms of equipment requirements and process. In a souffle, you separate the eggs and whip the whites, folding them back into the yolks and other ingredients, such as cheese or chocolate. You can't "load up" a souffle with other ingredients--in a strata you can accommodate vegetables, meats, cheeses, and of course it must include bread to be a strata. The souffle is meant to be light and elegant; the strata is hearty and practical. I tend to make stratas because they need to be prepped the night before so the bread can soak up the egg mixture, almost like a savory bread pudding. My favorite strata includes sauteed sausage, kale, shallots, roasted peppers and thick slices of crusty bread, all soaked in an egg custard, with salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg. I recently saw a baked "French toast" recipe that was essentially a sweet strata--dying to try it!
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