The Shot Glass Method For Perfect Egg In A Hole Toast

Egg in a hole — essentially a fried egg served in the center of a toasted bread slice — goes by many different names. Perhaps you call the dish egg in a basket, egg in a frame, egg with a hat, bird's nest, or one-eyed Jack. You might even recognize it as toad in the hole. However, that one can be confusing for the British, as their version of toad in the hole is a dish made with sausages baked in a savory batter.

In the 1941 film "Moon Over Miami" starring Betty Grable, egg in a hole is referred to as a gashouse egg. The movie includes a rather lovely explanation of how to make the dish: "You dig a round hole in the bread, like this. Drop it into the melted butter. Break an egg and drop it into the pool. And voilà! You have a masterpiece." In more recent years, the breakfast dish also made an appearance in the film "V for Vendetta."

So how exactly do you make a perfectly round hole in your bread, ready for your egg to nestle cozily inside? Rather than trying to cut the hole by hand, you can use a cookie cutter — or, even better, a shot glass. Creating just the right sized space for the egg, the shot glass method also gives you a nice round cut-out piece, which you can use for a toast "hat" to top the finished dish.

How to make egg in a hole

There are a couple of ways to make this quick, comforting breakfast, which also makes an excellent brunch, or even a breakfast-for-dinner recipe

If you're using a skillet, heat it over a medium-low heat, add a tablespoon of butter, and let it melt. Cut a hole out of the center of a slice of bread using a shot glass. Place the bread in the skillet, and crack an egg into the hole. After about one minute, flip the slice over with a spatula and move it around in the butter until the bread is toasted and the yolk is soft. To add a "hat", simply toast the cut-out circle on both sides in the skillet and place it on top of the cooked yolk when you serve. 

Alternatively, you can make egg in a hole using an air fryer. You'll need to pre-heat it to 330 degrees Fahrenheit and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Once pre-heated, place your bread slice with the middle cut out into the fryer, and crack an egg into the hole. Cook your bread for roughly five minutes on one side, then carefully flip and give it about four minutes on the other side.

Get creative with your egg in a hole

Egg in a hole is a simple dish, but it doesn't have to remain that way. There are many ways you can add a new twist on the classic, from incorporating extra ingredients to switching up the bread.

Try topping your finished dish with crisp bacon, smoked salmon, or avocado for a more substantial meal. Fusing two favorites together, consider sandwiching cheese between two slices of bread, brushing the outsides with mayo, cutting out your hole, and dropping your egg into the sandwich for an egg in a hole cheese toastie. Or, tap into the "pesto eggs" trend on foodie TikTok by frying your egg in a hole using pesto.

If preparing breakfast for a loved one, you could cut out the center with a heart-shaped cutter. Use the toast heart for dipping into the runny egg yolk as a romantic treat. Alternatively, you could substitute the bread for a waffle, or even use a bagel. After all, with a bagel, you don't need to cut a hole at all — it's already there, just waiting to be filled with a golden yolk.