Cheddar and Bacon Strata

Preheat oven to 325º F. Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from skillet and crumble. Add the onion to the pan drippings and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat and combine mixture with the bacon. Mix milk with basil, salt and pepper, eggs, and thyme with a whisk. Arrange half of bread cubes in a buttered 13 x 9 inch dish. Top with 2/3 cup of cheese, half the onion/bacon mixture, and then half of the tomato slices. Pour half of the milk mixture over the tomatoes and repeat the layers. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Bake for 55 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes until the cheese melts. SERVES 8