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What is an Egg in the Basket?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Feb 23, 2024
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Egg in the basket is a dish that is most commonly eaten for breakfast. It consists of two main ingredients, eggs inside of bread. Some people may be familiar with its other names, which include toad in a hole and eggs in a nest. The dish may be served alone or accompanied by other items such as bacon, corned beef hash, or fruit. Although it may be found on the menu in some restaurants, preparation of egg in the basket is simple enough that this dish can easily be prepared at home.

One of the first items that a person needs if she is wants to make eggs in a basket is bread. The best style is usually sliced sandwich bread. Whether it is white, wheat, or another variety does not usually affect the outcome. The second item that a person needs is eggs. The type or size of eggs does not really matter.

An egg in the basket is a dish that consists of an egg cooked in a hole that is deliberately made in a piece of bread. The hole is usually made in the center of the bread, but it does not have to be. A number of items can be used to make the hole, including cookie cutters and shot glasses. Some recipes instruct individuals to make a circle, but making other shapes can provide a creative twist.

Some type of oil is generally required to prepare this dish. Many recipes call for butter, but this is not mandatory. Health-conscious individuals may use olive oil or other alternatives without jeopardizing the outcome of the dish. The oil is used to fry the bread on both sides first.

Once the bread is golden, the egg should be dropped into the hole and cooked. If an individual wants the egg to be sunny side up, she should cook only one side. An individual who wants her egg completely cooked should flip the egg and bread over. Otherwise, there is a possibility that a portion of the yolk will remain raw.

One item that can drastically alter the outcome of egg in the basket is the skillet that a person uses. She should select one that has a very good non-stick surface. If not, it is likely that the oil will need to be added to the pan more than once or will need to be sprayed several times.

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Discussion Comments

By Phaedrus — On Nov 20, 2014

I make eggs in a basket at least once a week, and I always flip it over to create a well-done fried egg. I don't like runny yolks at all. I've never tried using anything other than a shot glass to remove the bread, but maybe a decorative cookie cutter shape would be interesting. I've been known to scramble my egg before pouring it into the hole, but it's more like a blended fried egg once it's done on both sides.

By Inaventu — On Nov 20, 2014

I used to think this dish was called "toad in a hole", but that's actually a different British breakfast dish involving sausage. I have also heard "eggs in a nest", but most of the restaurants I've been to call it "egg in the basket". I don't order it very often, but I've been known to make it at home whenever I have bread that is close to going stale. Frying it in butter helps make it taste fresher, and the egg gives the breakfast some substance.

If I make "eggs in a basket", I'll generally serve it with link sausage and steel cut oatmeal. I'll cut out the circle with a small round cookie cutter. You don't want to cut out too much bread, since you need enough toast to mix with the runny yolk if you like your eggs sunny side up.

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