Eggs in a Basket
Egg in a hole, egg in a basket, toad in a hole, hen in a nest, one-eyed Jack. Whatever you call it, an egg in toast is one of life’s simple pleasures. One that can’t get any better, right? Wrong. Skip the bread slices and use a whole loaf as the vessel for your eggs. Since this dish is baked in the oven, you can throw it together and let it cook while you brew coffee and catch up with guests. Talk about a crowd-pleaser.
1 loaf Italian bread
¼ cup half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Using a small serrated knife, cut 6 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. 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 four even pieces using a serrated knife. Serve immediately.