Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day (and the most important!) and to me feels incomplete without a serving of eggs- but finding new and interesting ways to cook/bake them can be a bit challenging- especially if you’re starting to get a little burnt out on scrambled or sunny-side-up all the time. Believe me, I’ve been there.
I’d heard of “eggs in a basket” before (sometimes called other things, i.e. “hen in a nest,” “toad in a hole,” etc.) and knew it entailed eggs, cheese and carbs- the trifecta of a delicious meal by my standards. So, I finally got around to whipping up some of my own- giving myself a reason to buy one of the huge loaves of Italian bread sold at my local bakery for the first time in forever and indulging in a little weekend brunch before I was off to run errands and catch up on some of my e-mails.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
(SERVING SIZE MAY DEPEND ON THE LENGTH OF ITALIAN BREAD)
- 1 loaf Italian bread
- 6 eggs (may vary, depending on serving size.)
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup grated cheese (your choice and completely optional! I used gouda!)
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Using a small serrated knife, cut the desired amount of holes (about 2 inches in diameter) into the top of the loaf. Insert the knife about three-quarters of the way into the bread, then work the knife around in a circle or square. Take care not to cut through to the bottom of the loaf. Use your fingers to remove the cylinders of bread, making sure there’s plenty of room for the eggs; discard the bread cutouts. (Note: A larger loaf can accommodate more holes for additional eggs.)
3. Crack an egg into each of the holes. Top each egg with 1 tablespoon half-and-half, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan over each egg, if using.
4. Bake until the egg white is set but the yolk is still slightly jiggly, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut the loaf into even pieces using a serrated knife. Serve immediately.
You can eat this as is, bite by bite- or pull apart the bread to dip into the egg and cheese (my personal preference) but regardless of how you devour this one- it’s delicious, filling, and the perfect way to start your morning!
I’ve read variations of this recipe that also incorporate onions. tomatoes, or even bits of cooked bacon into the bread- which also sounds incredible and is something I’m definitely going to try the next time I make this!