Egg in a Hole

This month, we’re asking food bloggers to share their go-to breakfasts. It’s the most important meal of the day, right? First up, this incredible egg-in-a-hole recipe from Molly of My Name is Yeh. Here’s how to make it (and she shows how to combine it with avocado toast!)…

Egg in a Hole
by Molly Yeh of My Name is Yeh

Toad in a hole, egg in a basket, egg in a hole…you say tomato, I say who really cares when you’re discussing a fried egg in the belly of hot toast?

The art of the hole in the middle (as it’s called in my family) is in my blood. When an eight-year-old me refused to go near any form of protein, save for baloney and eggs, I eventually got away with eating two of these per day. I never got sick of it. My mom earned her way to Master Hole-in-the-Middle Maker and eventually she passed her wisdom on to me, by way of the tastiest apprenticeship you ever could imagine.

What makes my mom’s hole in the middle so good is that she salts it just right, the egg yolk is the perfect amount of runniness for my taste, and whenever she serves it, it’s accompanied by a big bottle of hot sauce. She also doesn’t skimp on greasing the pan. Salty, runny, greasy, toasty…I’d say that’s a timeless key to success.

Recipe: Hole in the Middle (Toad in a Hole/Egg in a Basket/Egg in a Hole…etc.)

Serves 1

You’ll need:

A slice of bread
Oil or butter, enough to coat the bottom of your pan
An egg
A good pinch of Kosher salt and a crack of black pepper
Tabasco sauce, optional

Cut a 2 1/2-3-inch hole in your slice of bread. Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with oil or butter. Toast your bread and its circle on one side until brown, flip them over, and then crack the egg into the hole. I’ll sometimes add a tiny bit more oil or butter to the hole right before I crack the egg in if I notice that the pan is dry.

If you want the egg to be extra runny, cover the pan and cook to desired doneness. If you want it to be a bit firmer, cook until the bottom of the egg is firm, and then flip to cook the other side as well.

Season with salt and pepper. Add Tabasco, if using.

* Disguise it as pesto toast or avocado toast, hiding the egg under a layer of green goodness.
* Spread pimiento cheese between two thin slices of bread, and then proceed with the recipe as if you were using just one slice of bread. I like using pimiento cheese (or really any cheese spread) because it melts fast and it’ll be melty by the time the egg is cooked.
* Use a super thick slice of bread, cook your egg at the bottom of the hole (you won’t be able to flip it with this variation), and then fill the rest of the hole up with greens.

Thank you so much, Molly!

P.S. More best recipes, including a lazy egg sandwich and avocado toast.

(Photos and recipe by Molly Yeh of My Name is Yeh. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. Lindsey says...

    My dad made these for us as kids and called them Winkies!

  2. Suzanne says...

    Toad-in-a-hole! I learned how to make these in Molly’s American Girl Cookbook and ate them often as a kid! I haven’t had one in years, but will soon.

  3. When I was growing up, my dad would make this for me all the time, but being from Louisiana, we called it “egg in the bread”…. And almost like one word: egginthebread. :) He would fry up the little round part with butter until it was crispy….that was my favorite part. We ate the dish with syrup poured all over. Mmm….

  4. Oh, I love eggs and remember my mom doing this when I was a kid. I might just have to make this for myself this morning… and I have avocado in the house!

  5. I made these for my kids for lunch on Friday with the avocado toast and they thought I was a wizard! My brother used to make these for himself- he called it Rocky Mountain Spotted Toast. I have NO idea why. I kind of dig the “One-Eyed Jack”, personally!

  6. I love these!! Esp with a piece of crusty sourdough bread, yum! My husband requests them all the time. We call them eggs in a basket. One of my fav scenes from the movie V for Vendetta is when V makes Evie one for breakfast :)

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  8. This was my favorite breakfast food growing up! My dad used to make it all the time! Love the variations. I’m going to have to give the pesto spread a try.

  9. We call these gas house eggs and they are a staple in our breakfast rotation! Love the idea of adding a pesto or spread on top of the egg!

  10. My grandmother used to make these for breakfast. She called it a household egg. They are amazing!

  11. My husband’s mom always made these for him, except she sprinkled cinnamon on them and called them “Eggy in a Basket.” =)

  12. Southerners say, “Eggs in a basket.” It has a bit more charm, I think.

  13. This is so great… I make this for my daughter 9 mornings out of 10 :) We call it a birds nest!

  14. And now I’m salivating all over my laptop. Used to make these when I was young but haven’t made one for years!

  15. My aunt used to make these when I stayed over with my cousins. We called it ‘toad in the hole’ but the English actually use that term for a sausage baked in a Yorkshire pudding – go figure.
    Oh, and I don’t know if you guys know what a crumpet is, but it works even better. You fry the hole for a snack while you’re cooking the egg, and the egg white runs into all the crumpet holes – delicious!

  16. I used to to do this with my daughter a while back, Ive forgotten! We should do this again. We make our holes heart shaped for extra fun, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter :)

  17. I used to to do this with my daughter a while back, Ive forgotten! We should do this again. We make our holes heart shaped for extra fun, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter :)

  18. I feel like my worlds are colliding. Your blog is my absolute favorite on the internet, and I KNOW Molly, and the fact that you are featuring her makes me so excited that my brain is exploding !

  19. I read this at 10pm and literally three seconds later, went into the kitchen to make one for me and my husband. (Ahh, pregnancy.) And it was so easy to make! Even easier (and actually more delicious) than a fried egg with toast on the side. Thanks for the recipe!!

  20. Discovered eggs in a basket when I was in the 3rd grade while reading a children’s book. I made it immediately after school and never turned back.

  21. Discovered eggs in a basket when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade while reading a children’s book. I made it immediately after school and never turned back, it was my very first recipe requiring more than one cooked ingredient.

  22. I love these! My mom always made them for us on special days (like snow days) when we were little. She called them “Gashouse Eggs,” though, which her own mother called them. Maybe because they looked like a gas lamp??

  23. I’m LOVING all of the names for this delicious breakfast! We often make these for our kids, and here’s a tip if you’re going to try it: I use a cup with a 3″ diameter to make the hole. I think that’s the perfect size to keep the egg from running out of the hole!

  24. My dad always made these for me as a kid and I still eat them all the time. We always called them “Treasure Islands”. Looks like I’m the only one!

  25. We have always call them pop-eyes. I prefer it with jam. Love it!!

  26. My sister in law made this for me once and turned the punched out circle of bread into cinnamon toast. Like a tiny dessert to accompany the dish. I thought that was genius, and adorable!

  27. We call it an Egg in a Frame, and I flip the egg with the bread for a fried egg. Love the avocado spread idea!

  28. This looks delicious! I love this recipe because it’s such an easy way to get carbs and protein in the morning. Plus, if you add kale you also get some leafy greens! Yum :)

    – Kevin
    Thou Swell

  29. You just reminded me of how we used to make these for our girls all the time! They have now flown the coop off to college…..and now I miss them all over again. :( But i do love an egg in a hole! :)

  30. jm says...

    We called this “egg in a basket” growing up. Delicious!

  31. This has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember! We call it toad in a hole, but no one ever understood what I was talking about, so I’m happy to see someone else knows what’s going on! This is a lovely post, great photographs!


  32. We called it “eggs in a nest” – so funny that it has so many names!

  33. We always called it “eggs on a raft” growing up. Anyone else?

  34. Looks great! Sadly, as a vegan, I can’t partake, but it still looks awesome. I’d love to share my recipe for an awesome tofu scramble!

  35. I love this March series (one can never have too many breakfast ideas) and this post from Molly! This is the first time I hear of egg in a hole and can’t wait to have some.

  36. We make these all the time but call them “Birds in a nest” – a great weeknight dinner for a busy night.

  37. we called them “one eyed monsters”

    so great!

  38. We called it “Egg in a Frame” …guessing this is from my mother being an interior designer? :)

  39. Love this idea! Love CupOfJo and love Shoko. I want to make this for my little bro (and love the idea of turning to the two cutout rounds into a circular grilled cheese:)

  40. My family used to make this when I was younger. We used to call it bird’s nest!

  41. I have never actually had this but it does look like simple perfection and I just may have to give it a try this week. Thanks for the yummy inspiration.

  42. My mom used to make my sister and I “hole in ones” when we were younger. We loved them!
    Eggs are our families current go do dish on busy nights. Tonight we are having Mario’s Eggs in Hell :)

  43. Aw, man, you made me tear up with this! (I know, strange)- My dad, who passed away when I was 12, used to make this for me in the morning before I left for school. He used to call it “eggy toast” and it brings back the sweetest memories for me. :)

  44. My mom would make these for dinner, actually, on days when she was just too tired to make anything else. For us, they’re called ‘Smack-In-The-Eye’ and I’ve made them for various kids I’ve looked after/for myself during uni. So simple, yet so good and always makes me think of home!

  45. My mother grew up on toad in the holes, but hasn’t made me one since I was a child, shes a pretty bad cook and I had less discerning taste back then! I’ve been dying to make some but wasn’t sure where to start… now I shall put toads in holes, with out fear and I think I’ll top them with a slice of tomato! this is going to be a fantastic series! Thanks Joanna!

  46. This is a household favorite for us! One of the few things I make that my Mom will eat!

  47. Love it! My mom always called this a “One Eyed Pirate.” That name alone would entice my younger brother to eat his breakfast! haha

  48. I could make this for my husband – he’d love it! I won’t eat it – I don’t eat eggs that are not scambled white and yolk together – unless it’s hard-boiled. But, I make a mean fried or sunny-side up egg – I learned how when my kids were young – they called they dippy eggs!

  49. Lu says...

    it’s called a “spit in the eye” in the south. topped with generous swaths of hot sauce (and goat cheese if your feelin’ fancy).

  50. Yum. My mom always called it “toad in a hole”!

  51. I have always been nervous to try this as I need my eggs cooked pretty hard. I think I’ll finally give it a shot and see if I can make it work. I love the idea of adding pesto to it!

  52. We LOVED this growing up, too, but called it “Egg in a House”

  53. Loving this series Joanna! Gets me out of my usual oatmeal (with honey and peanut butter) and green smoothie breakfast!

  54. My mom would make this for us ALL the time growing up. Except…we always called it a One-Eyed Jack. But apparently we’re the only ones. No one ever knows what I’m talking about when I say that. haha

  55. Aw man, this looks super good! I’ve been wanting to try this dish for a while now. Sounds like a wknd project to me! ;-)

  56. This is good because I never get the egg right. It is either too runny or too well done.
    Now I get it !

  57. This is going to be a delicious series to read, I LOVE brunch!! It’s by far my favourite meal of the day!!!! I just discovered making Hash Brown cups to then bake the eggs inside of, it’s amazing! Look forward to reading more great ideas!! xx Meg
    Hash Brown Cups