Arrange two racks evenly spaced in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease the bottom and sides a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish with the butter.
Place an ovenproof baking rack on a sheet pan and place the strips of bacon in a single layer on the rack. (If you don’t have a rack, just place the bacon directly on a sheet pan.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon has begun to brown. Remove the pan and carefully brush the strips of bacon with maple syrup. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the bacon and allow to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop the bacon and set aside.
As the bacon cooks, cut the English muffins into 1-inch cubes. (Do not halve them horizontally as you would normally for the toaster.) Spread the cubes on a sheet pan and bake on the other oven rack for 15 minutes, until toasted and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in large bowl.
To assemble, sprinkle half of the bacon, 1 tablespoon of the chives, and 1 cup of the cheese (in that order) onto the bottom of the baking dish. Add the English muffin cubes on top in one even layer. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the pan, pressing down lightly to make sure all the muffin cubes are moistened. Top with remaining bacon, cheese and chives. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
Before baking, turn the oven to 350 degrees. If the dish has been in the refrigerator overnight, let it come to room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before baking. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until puffed and cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.Copyright 2017, Lidey Heuck, All Rights Reserved