I've been thinking a lot about toad in the hole. Either this represents a new thought disorder or it means that I'm stuck in the house with hungry children while the lovely wife is at the gym. Although likely a bit of both, I will defend myself by pointing out that she is out of the house as I write this.
For those of you who don't know, toad in the hole is a fried egg cooked in a piece of bread with a hole ripped out of the middle. It sounds easy enough until you do it a few times. Then you realize the variations on toad in the hole: toad and a hole; blackened toad; blackened hole; and, my favorite, sushi egg ala salmonella. Making it right is not as easy as it sounds.
For those of you who would say something like "just use a thick piece of brioche: that will hold the egg and cook nicely" I say "the seven year old is hungry NOW and will not wait. I will use the Arnold Brick Oven White that sits in the drawer. Anyway, I've tried it and brioche tends to burn easily.
So I have set out to make the perfect toad in the hole using commercial bread products. For better or worse, certain people under the age of 12 seem to prefer this bread anyway. There are several things to keep in mind
- do not be skimpy with the oil, and use oil over butter as the latter burns.
- Use fresher eggs! The yolks are much more durable. Save the old stuff for scrambled.
Slice white bread with 1 1/2 to 2" hole taken out of the middle
salt to taste
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED
Good small frying pan with cover
Heat the oil in a medium hot pan. Quickly put the bread in the oil and turn, making sure it is covered on the face up side. Crack the egg into the hole. Much of the white will pool on the top of the bread. Cover to let the top cook a bit, too.
The trick is to flip the bread/egg combination as soon as possible. Peak under the toast and when it looks more than a bit "golden" flip away. The flipped side, being covered in egg, is much less likely to burn and can be cooked longer. Again, covering will help it cook through a bit. Boy #2 likes his toads sunny and Boy #1 likes them well done. Both can be accommodated with this technique. If you're worried about burn, flip again and cover. Salt to taste.