I discovered this humble breakfast dish in a Cracker Barrel restaurant. I’d seen it on the menu a handful of times and thought it sounded like the oddest thing. I haven’t always been big on eggs for breakfast, either, so it took me a while to discover this little gem/ And it IS a gem. A tasty, golden one.
And it’s easy – ridiculous easy. A few weeks ago I even saw Paula Deen cooking some up on her show, but she threw me for a loop when she called it a Toad in a Hole, which I found pretty gross. I didn’t want to visualize myself about to eat a toad that had emerged from a muddy hole. Hope that doesn’t ruin it for you, too! Heh.
I consider this in the category of comfort foods. I mean, what’s better than bread toasted in a pan with a perfectly cooked egg in the middle of it? Plus, if you just have to have your toast and eggs, you’ve taken care of all of it in one pan. Look ma! Less mess!
This is one of my favorite breakfast dishes and I’ve even made it for myself for dinner on a night off, aka, when I’m all alone. So simple and delicious, you won’t need anything on this but a little salt and pepper.
First, get thee to your grocer’s bakery section and nab you whatever unsliced loaf of bread looks good. I prefer anything that’s white with a slightly chewy crust. This beaut here is a loaf of Italian sandwich bread from Publix that I’ve sliced about an inch thick.
Butter both sides of each slice. Yes, really. You’re gonna toast ’em both. Toast like the most. Besides, a little butter never hurt no bread, no ma’am. By the way, I’m probably admitting something heinous, but I use Country Crock brand spread. *runs*
Now take your biscuit cutter, or something with an opening approximating 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 inches, and prepare to cleave your basket’s “lid” from the bread slice.
After you’ve heated your pan on medium low and toasted each slice till a little golden brown on each side, add a small dollop of butter to the bread hole and carefully crack and drop in the egg. There’s gonna be a whole lotta sizzlin’ goin’ on, baby!
All your efforts will be rewarded when you get these yummy critters. I cook ’em about four minutes on each side after dropping the egg in, and that usually gets me a medium cooked egg, just runny enough to dip the rest of the bread in. Oh yeah.
Trust me. Your belly will thank you. This was mine and hubby’s plate, and we just plunked it on the kitchen counter and took turns acting like pigs.
True story: The picture up top with the partially eaten, “half moon” bread “lid”? That’s my sister’s, the other half of this blog. While I was cooking the food, I took one of the lids out of the pan. It was done to crispy goodness, and before I knew it, my sis had snatched it up and started chomping down. I kinda howled in dismay and was all Nooooo! We need that for pictures! You’re eating your basket’s lid! Her expression was hilarious, and in her defense, I hadn’t told her this yet. But it actually turned out pretty cute. Ha!
Eggs in a Basket
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 16 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 2-4
- 4 thick-cut slices of bread, from an unsliced bakery bread loaf
- 4 large eggs
- Butter or margarine spread
- salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium low heat. Slice your bread into one-inch-thick slices. Butter each side. Using a 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (or small juice cup, etc., of about that diameter), cut holes in the middle of each buttered slice of bread. Place two of the slices in the hot pan, toasting each side of each slice for a couple of minutes, till they start to brown. Add a small dollop of butter to the bread hole, about a teaspoon or just enough to keep the egg from sticking. Carefully crack and drop in an egg into each hole so that the yolk remains whole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about four minutes on each side, turning them carefully so the egg doesn’t spill out as you flip. Transfer to a plate. Repeat for the remaining two slices of bread and eggs.
In talking with some other Egg in a Basket fans, I’ve learned that some cut the bread holes with cute-shaped cookie cutters, which is probably a really great idea and fun way to fix ’em for the kids.
You can use regular thin-sliced sandwich bread if you’d like, but just be aware that the egg might overrun the bread a little. If this happens, don’t worry, it’ll still taste great.