LC Mom Knows Best Note
You may be surprised at just how soulful bread, butter, egg, and salt can taste. If you’re the skeptical sort, trust us. Tasting this childhood classic is believing. Although hearing it’s name may do nothing for you seeing as it goes by so gosh darn many different monikers. It seems everyone whose mom ever made this for them knows it by a different name, whether “toad in a hole” or “funny egg” or, well, you tell us. Let us know in a comment below what you called this growing up. Just don’t expect us to prefer one title over another, seeing as moms—all of ’em—know best.
Egg in a Hole
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 20 M
- Serves 1 or 2
Special Equipment: 2- to 3-inch (5- to 8-cm) cookie or biscuit cutter
Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
Make a 2-inch (or thereabouts) hole in the center of each slice of bread using a cookie or biscuit cutter, an overturned glass, or what have you.
In a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until it’s bubbling but not yet brown. Add the bread and cook until golden brown, maybe 1 to 2 minutes. (Don’t forget to also toss in the little round cut-outs so you have something to dip into the runny yolk.) Flip the bread and carefully crack an egg into each hole. (There may be a little overflow of white onto the bread. As long as you’re not a perfectionist, this is fine.) Quickly sprinkle each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, if desired, being careful to avoid the egg.
Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven to bake. (Don’t try to flip the bread again.) Bake until the egg white sets but the yolk is still runny, 6 to 8 minutes. Begin to check your egg at 4 minutes if you fancy a really runny yolk, as a firm yolk ruins the pleasure of this simple dish.
Lightly sprinkle both bread and egg with fleur de sel. Your egg in a hole is best the moment it emerges from the oven.
- Egg In A Brioche Hole
A fun variation on this would be to use brioche in place of white bread. I think it would taste amazing with the egg and butter. [Editor’s Note: Or challah.]
- Savory Egg In A Hole
For a savory version, substitute 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan for the brown sugar and serve with a little dab of mustard on the side.
- Stovetop Egg In A Hole
If you don’t care to let your egg out of sight, simply flip the bread, add the egg, and finish cooking it on your stovetop. This allows you to keep a watchful eye on the exact doneness of the egg in a hole.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I can't believe that my husband and I have lived our entire lives and have never even heard of egg in a hole, but now that it comes up, it was one of those "Duh!" moments. But of COURSE! We have eggs sunny-side up or over easy with toast every weekend. Combining the two was meant to be.
We cooked ours in an All-Clad square nonstick griddle pan on medium-high heat and could fit 4 slices bread at once. I like the flavor of browned butter, so I browned it first and then added about a teaspoon canola oil to keep the bread from burning. We only had regular sandwich bread in the house, so that's what I used. I cracked an egg into a small bowl first to make it easier to slide the egg into the hole. I have a set of round fluted cookie cutters and just pulled out the one that seemed like it would fit all the egg in there—it was about 3 inches. (In case you're wondering, at the end you can't notice that the bread was cut using a fluted cutter.) I had some overflow of egg white, which was OK. Maybe with some extra-thick brioche there would have been enough vertical space for the egg to fit, but for regular bread I recommend cutting a slightly larger hole. Our eggs took about 8 minutes to set in our convection oven. I should also note that the bread holes did not go to waste—while the eggs were in the oven, I stuck the holes in our toaster oven with a teensy bit of butter, and we used these to dip into the eggs and mop up the runny yolky goodness. Yum! I will say that popping the eggs in the oven made for a picture-perfect presentation, but if you're skilled at flipping food with a spatula, you can finish the cooking process on the stove and skip the oven step. Over direct heat, the eggs should only take another minute or two to finish cooking, depending on how runny you want your yolks.
I made the savory version of this egg in a hole recipe, and it definitely took me back to middle school home economics class, which is where I first learned to make the basic version. I really loved the addition of the Parmesan, fleur de sel, and grainy mustard. Also, the use of brioche instead of regular bread made it seem a lot fancier. This is true comfort food! Will definitely try the sweet version at some point.