When I was a kid, there was no tastier or more wondrous breakfast than egg-in-a-hole. It was a special treat even though its ingredients were simple and not at all special on their own. Maybe you know it by another name – bullseye egg, egg in a frame, egg in a nest, hole in one, toad in the hole, one-eyed Jack, or even gashouse special.
As I look back, I shouldn’t be surprised. I loved when my mom made birthday cakes shaped in the number of the birthday year. So what if the 6 didn’t look so great and the cake was from a mix? As a kindergartener, a cake in the shape of a 6 was magical.
And so it was when my mom pulled a hole out of the bread and replaced it with an egg. She used packaged white bread and served it with reconstituted orange juice made from a can, but I thought it was the absolute best breakfast ever.
My updated version features much better bread (Jewish rye bread with seeds in this batch, but I also love French brioche-type bread or challah) and I cut the hole in it with a shot glass, but the basic result is the same – delicious!
As an adult, the benefits of egg-in-a-hole are not limited to the taste or the fascination in how it looks. It’s a simple and quick way to enjoy eggs and toast without a toaster, it breaks you out of of the scrambled and fried routine (pardon the pun), and it’s a breeze to clean up after making because you don’t need to do any preparation heading straight to the stovetop.
How to make Egg-in-a-Hole
Servings – 1 (easy to scale up for more) Cost – 50¢
- 1 large egg
- 1 slice of bread. Use the best you have or can get. The only requirement is that it be large enough to make a yolk-sized hole in the middle.
- Large pat of butter
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pan large enough to hold the bread and the hole without overlapping. Cover for pan is optional.
- Biscuit cutter, shot glass or anything else that can cut a yolk-sized hole in the bread.
- Silicone pancake flipper or metal spatula
- Cut a hole in the center of the bread.
- Heat the pan and add a little butter, just enough to brown the hole and the bread (with an empty spot where you cut out the hole) for about 1 minute, so that they crisp slightly.
- Turn the hole and bread slice over, add the rest of the butter and break the egg gently over the bread, so that the yolk fits into the hole and the egg white spills over onto the rest of the bread. It’s fine if some of it spills over onto the pan. This isn’t a contest for the neatest egg-in-the-hole, it’s all about the taste.
- Cook the egg until the egg white actually turns white and the yolk is how you like it. If you like the yolk a bit runny, then cover the pan and the egg will cook right side up. If you prefer the yolk better cooked, then flip the bread with the egg over for about 2 minutes instead of covering the pan. You can flip it back right-side up for a bit longer if you like, or leave it cook with the egg facing the bottom of the pan.
When the egg is done, slip the piece of bread and the hole onto a plate and enjoy.