Egg in a hole (also known as Toad in a Basket or Egg in a Basket) is an easy breakfast classic made with pan-fried bread and an egg, and is ready in minutes!
Egg in a hole.
Egg in a basket.
Egg with a hat.
Birdie in a basket.
Toad in a basket.
Whatever you call it, an egg fried inside a cut-out hole in a piece of bread is a breakfast classic.
Also, it’s a pretty clever breakfast idea.
Your egg and toast are ready at exactly the same time, and you only need one pan to make it. No toaster needed.
As far as I can remember, I didn’t grow up eating an egg in a hole for breakfast. But when I started working at Cracker Barrel after high school, I saw it served morning after morning after morning.
For the record, Cracker Barrel calls it egg in a basket.
When I quit working at the Barrel, I kind of forgot about this egg and toast combo, until, years later, when I decided to declutter my countertop.
That’s right, on a whim I put my toaster inside a cabinet.
I didn’t want to get rid of the toaster, I just wanted to see if I could use it less often, possibly only pulling it out to toast bagels.
Everything was going perfectly… until one morning my husband wanted toast. Yes, I could’ve pulled the toaster out of the cabinet, but I wanted to see if you could make toast without a toaster.
I tried toasting the bread over a flame on my gas stovetop. This worked, kind of, but it was messy because crumbs fell down into the stovetop.
Then I remembered egg in a hole, and I’ve been making it regularly ever since!
What Kind of Bread Should I Use for Egg in a Hole?
The beauty of egg in a hole is that it works with (almost) any type of bread.
Cracker Barrel serves it on sourdough (yum) and I prefer to make it with smaller slices of sprouted-grain bread.
However, this breakfast does work best with relatively thin bread.
Avoid extra-thick slices for egg in a hole, because the bread will be harder to cut. Also, if the bread is too thick, the egg won’t fill the entire hole and flipping will be trickier.
How Should I Cut the Hole?
You can cut the hole however you want to.
I use these biscuit cutters (I pick the size depending on the size of my bread), but you could also use a cookie cutter, a knife, or even the rim of a glass to cut the hole.
Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Butter?
Keep in mind that your bread will be less golden and, well, less buttery.
How to Make Egg in a Hole
If you have time, take your egg out of the fridge a few minutes before you start cooking. Room-temperature eggs will fry a little bit easier than cold eggs.
Next, heat butter in a pan.
While the pan heats up, cut a hole in a slice of bread.
Set the bread (both pieces) in the pan. I like to make sure there’s butter both inside and outside the hole.
Crack the egg inside the hole, and let it cook until the bread is golden and the egg whites are almost completely set. I use the small piece of bread as a gauge to see if it’s golden yet.
Let the egg cook as long as you prefer.
You can serve it over-easy, over-medium, or over-well. Whatever you like best.
I like to top mine with sliced avocado or a little jam (Stonewall's Wild Maine Blueberry Jam is my favorite jam on the planet and works perfectly here), but it’s delicious without any toppings at all.
Serve your egg in the hole right away, and then spend the rest of your day polling your friends to find out what they call this tasty breakfast!
Egg in a Hole
- 1 slice bread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 egg
- small pinch of salt
- Cut a hole in a slice of bread. Use a biscuit or cookie cutter, the rim of a glass, or a knife to cut the hole.
- Heat the butter over medium heat in a heavy pan. When the butter melts, add both pieces of bread.
- Crack the egg into the hole in the bread. Try not to break the yolk when cracking. Add a small pinch of salt to the top of the egg.
- Watch the egg as it cooks. When the whites are mostly cooked through, flip the bread, taking care not to break the yolk.
- Cook to desired doneness. For a runny, over-easy yolk, cook about 30 more seconds, about a minute for over-medium, and about 1 ½ minutes for well-done eggs. (Times are approximate, and will depend on how hot your pan is.)