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Making a "Strata", but keeping the bread toasty/cripsy?

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I need to bring an egg dish to Easter and I don't want to worry about making a crust. I'd like to do a strata of sorts, but so many call for the bread to be fully saturated in the egg mixture and often refrigerated overnight.

I was thinking about using lightly toasted bread cubes, tossing them in a little butter, putting them on the top of the strata, and then sprinkling with cheese. Has anyone done this?

I don't see why this would be an issue or wouldn't work, but since I'm responsible for bringing this for the group I need some chowhound guidance. My concern is the chance of the bread being tough or chewy.

Or, if I just assemble this right before baking (in lieu of letting the bread soak up the mixture) will that be all that I need to do?

My reason for wanting the crispiness is I actually made a small "test" recipe trying out the idea of making a polenta crust with the fillings I had selected. While the flavor was great, the lack of texture had me spooning the egg filling over toast and found that to be the winning combination. I could just go breadless and just bring toast I know, but the host will not want to have the toaster out and I don't know if I want to take up another oven with a big sheet pan.
Thanks!!

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