Have You Heard of Humpty Dumpty’s Off-the-Wall Toast?

Perfect toast filled with an egg inside
Photos and illustrations via CakeSpy

Egg in the hole toast— if the name of this fantastic feat of food and cooking isn’t ringing a bell, perhaps you know it by another name. This dish goes by many, including (but not limited to) Alabama eggs, bird’s nest, bull’s eye eggs, cowboy eggs, egg in toast, egg in a frame, egg in a blanket, frog in a hole, toad in a hole, one-eyed monsters, one-eyed jacks, moon eggs, nest eggs and a personal favorite, “Humpty Dumpty’s Off-the-Wall Toast”.

No matter what you want to call it, one thing is for sure: It’s a mighty tasty breakfast and a fantastic way to use up day old bread. It works particularly well with breads which have some “soaking” capability, such as the rich brioche recipes featured in Craftsy class Classic & Creative Brioche Pastries

Toasting and buttering the bread revives it; adding the rich, flavorful egg makes it a balanced and tasty breakfast. This meal would be a fantastic choice for treating dad this upcoming Father’s Day— don’t forget to add some bacon on the side!

Choose your carbohydrates wisely

You can use a variety of types of bread for this recipe, from sandwich loaves to dense, nutty wholewheat to light and airy brioche. The key points are that it must have a surface area large enough to accommodate an approximately 2-inch hole without falling apart, and that it must be sturdy enough to hold its shape. While an airy artisan bread is delicious, a finer-crumbed bread variety would probably work better for making egg in the hole toast.

In terms of the thickness of the slice, you can use your judgment; just don’t make your slices so thin that the bread is flimsy and may fall apart. For this tutorial, the bread was sliced in fairly thick, 1/2 inch slices.

Egg in the hole toast

Makes 4 servings.

  • 4 slices thick, firm toast
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:

Start out by cutting a hole in the bread. Make it about 2 inches in diameter; make sure that there is a “border” of bread on all sides. Repeat with remaining slices. Reserve the holes.

Cut a hole in your bread for the egg to cook in

Step 2:

Fire up a frying pan over medium heat. Melt 1/2 tablespoon or so of butter until it has covered the pan and is bubbling lightly.

Melting butter: good and tasty times ahead!

Step 3:

Add the bread, and let it toast in the butter for about 30 seconds. Flip the bread.

Toasting the bread in the melted butter before adding the egg

Step 4:

Now, crack the egg gently and let the egg fall into the hole in the bread. Take care not to break the yolk. If it slightly oozes from the hole and you see some egg white on the top of the slice or sizzling underneath, that is OK.

The moment of truth: crack the egg into the hole

Step 5:

Let the egg cook in the center of the toast for about 2 minutes. Gently flip the toast, adding up to 1/2 tablespoon more butter to the pan if needed. Let the egg continue to cook, for about 2 more minutes for an oozing yolk, or up to 4 minutes for a firm, cooked egg.

Perfect egg in a hole toast

Step 6:

Repeat this process with the remaining slices. If desired and your pan size allows for it, do two slices at a time.

Step 7:

Once finished, season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also further jazz up your egg in hole toast by adding shredded cheese, scallions or tomato slices. If you’d like, go ahead and lightly toast the reserved bread circles in the residual heat of the pan; you can dip them in the yolk if desired.

Dip the extra bread in the yolk

Craving more breakfast options? Learn how to create an array of breakfast pastries that make every morning sweet or savory in the online Craftsy class Classic & Creative Brioche Pastries.

What do you call this unique breakfast dish?

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