Whether you call it Eggs in a Basket, Toad in a Hole, or something else entirely, there is nothing more satisfying than this simple meal of an egg fried in buttered toast. It’s a staple for easy breakfasts or lazy dinners!
When it was first suggested that I create a recipe for “Toad in a Hole,” at first, I thought maybe I had heard wrong. “Excuse me, toad in a what?” After a brief description of the dish, I realized that the recipe in question is actually one of my all time favorite breakfasts; a runny fried egg that is cooked smack in the center of a piece of grilled toast, or as my family calls it, Eggs in a Basket.
The Many Names for an Eggs In A Basket Recipe
“Eggs in a basket” goes by many different names depending on where you’re from, and who first introduced you to this classic breakfast recipe. You may know it as:
- Egg in a nest
- Egg in a hole
- Toad in a hole
- Bullseye eggs
- Hobo Eggs
- Holy Eggs
- Eggs in a frame
- Birdie in a basket
- Hole in one
- One-eyed Jack
- One-eyed Pete
- Gashouse eggs
- Ox eye eggs
- Baby in a buggy
- Or one of many other names…
Whatever you call it, this classic meal is far greater than simply eggs and toast.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with eggs and toast! But as breakfasts go, it is pretty utilitarian. I love to see common breakfast ingredients shine just by being combined in different ways that give the meal a unique mood. For example, bread, eggs, and meat could be combined into a simple omlette with toast, or if you need to use your fingers and dip, try my Breakfast Pull Apart Bread!
For a more formal fork and knife experience you can always go with an Overnight Breakfast Casserole. See what I mean? Same basic ingredients, but a much different experience that you can match to the breakfast mood you’re searching for. The combinations are endless.
This Eggs in a Basket recipe is another perfect example of how to make the mundane feel magical.
How To Make Eggs In A Basket
There are a few different methods for making an Eggs in a Basket recipe, but here’s what I’ve learned delivers the best, most evenly golden toast and yolky egg:
- Generously (and I do mean generously) butter a piece of hearty bread on both sides. I love a thick sourdough, but sometimes a good grainy wheat really hits the spot too.
- Cut a hole out of the center of the bread. Use a cookie cutter for a perfect easy circle (or a heart shape if you’re feeling cute).
- Place the bread, along with the cut out, into a skillet over medium heat and let it toast for a minute or two until it gets pleasantly golden.
- Flip it over then place a small dollop of butter in the center. Crack an egg into the hole of the bread.
- Fry the egg until set on one side, then flip one last time just to set the whites.
- Remove to a plate, and dive into the best breakfast. Drippy egg yolk, buttery grilled toast, and a perfect little circle for dipping.
A Great Camping Breakfast
As kids, we used to make Eggs in a Basket at summer camp, where they’d send us out into the woods armed with tin coffee cans, a candle, a few dozen eggs, and some bread. We would carefully butter our bread, cutting jagged circles in the middle with a plastic knife. With the coffee can settled over the burning candle, and a crowd of giggly 6th graders gathered around, we’d carefully toast our bread, crack the egg in the center, and wait patiently for it to finish.
It all sounds wonderfully quaint and nostalgic, but I remember more than a few mishaps which involved uneven ground, an overenthusiastic toast flipper, and rivers of egg running down coffee cans and forming puddles in the dirt.
But oh, oh, when we actually got it right, no other breakfast could compare to dippy eggs and toast roasted over an open flame. These days I prefer to use the open flame of a gas stove in my climate controlled and level house, but this meal is just as good now as it was decades ago.
The Kids Will Love It
Eggs in a Basket is a great breakfast recipe for kids because:
- A picky eater that dislikes eggs by themselves might LOVE the combo package of eggs in a basket. It gives them something to dip (an excuse to play with their food). “Egg yolk swimming pool!”
- It’s easy to customize eggs in a basket to your kid’s interests just by using some fun cookie cutter shapes for the hole. We like dinosaurs, trucks, stars, hearts, etc…
- The toast makes flipping the fried egg over without breaking it even easier! (That makes this egg in a basket recipe great for spatula beginners, or for kids who want to help make breakfast.)
For the grown-ups, I sometimes like to sprinkle the top with fresh herbs or shredded cheese, but a little salt and pepper will do just fine.
Eggs in a Basket is a great way to jazz up a simple country breakfast, and transform your toast and eggs into something that feels just a bit more special.
Have you ever tried making Eggs in a Basket? And if so, I’m curious; What name does your family have for this classic breakfast recipe? (Leave a comment below)
Need to find a Gluten-Free breakfast option? Try my recipe for Crustless Quiche Lorraine. It’s a low carb, and classy way to satisfy breakfast/brunch dietary restrictions!
- 4 pieces of bread (any bread, as long as it's large enough to cut a hole in the center, will work. I love sourdough or a hearty wheat)
- 4 eggs
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- Fresh chopped herbs (optional)
- Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Spread the butter on both sides of each slice of bread, reserving 1 Tablespoon of the butter for later.
- Use a cookie cutter or the bottom of a juice glass to cut a circle in the middle of each slice of bread.
- Place two slices of bread, along with their cutouts, in a skillet over medium heat. Grill until golden then flip.
- Place a small dollop of the reserved butter in the center of each hole. Crack an egg into the center and cook until bottom is set, about 3-4 minutes. Flip, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.
- Remove from skillet, along with the cutouts to a plate. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs (such as parsley or basil) to taste, and cheese if desired.
- Repeat with remaining bread and eggs. Serve hot.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 201mg Sodium: 277mg Carbohydrates: 12g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1.4g Protein: 10g