breakfast in a box

Here’s something a bit different for a festive breakfast over the Christmas and New Year break - or any relaxed weekend or holiday time. The crispy golden boxes taste fantastic in themselves and make a handy holder for a variety of traditional breakfast fillings.

For each box you will need a slice of bread approximately 3-5cm (1- 1½ inches) thick, ideally from a day old white tin loaf as it needs to be slightly dry.

Pare away crusts and hollow out centre: base and walls should be around 3cm (1 inch) thick.

Brush lightly all over with melted butter: it must be actual butter or you won’t get the lovely flavour.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C (fan oven) or equivalent for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden, turning over halfway.

Fill boxes with fried or grilled smoked streaky bacon, cocktail sausages, whole button mushrooms, halved cherry tomatoes and fried quails eggs. Season with freshly ground black pepper and snipped chives. Serve fresh and hot.

Alternative Fillings

  • Celebration Special: scrambled hen’s eggs and chopped smoked salmon, garnish with lumpfish roe and serve with a glass of champagne
  • Flaked poached smoked haddock and soft boiled quail’s eggs
  • Kedgeree topped with fried or soft boiled quail’s eggs
  • Shredded ham with fried or soft boiled quail’s eggs
  • Garlic mushrooms (use garlic butter to brush box)

Note

A peeled soft boiled egg is known as ‘oeuf mollet’. To soft boil quail’s eggs, lower gently into boiling water. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, keeping the eggs in the water for a further 30 seconds, remove, peel, and serve immediately.

Egg Box

What could be a nicer breakfast, or sustaining snack, than fried egg, sunny side up in its own crispy golden box of toast?

Preparing the Toast Box

For each box you will need a slice of bread approximately 3-5cm (1- 1½ inches) thick, ideally from a day old white tin loaf as it needs to be slightly dry.

Pare away crusts and hollow out centre: base and walls should be around 3cm (1 inch) thick.

Brush lightly all over with melted butter: it must be actual butter or you won’t get the lovely flavour.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C (fan oven) or equivalent for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden, turning over halfway.

Cooking the Egg in the Box

Remove toast box from oven and reduce heat to 170C.

Crack a large hen’s egg into each box, cover baking tray loosely with greaseproof paper, without touching the egg, tucking underneath to secure and return to the oven: ovens vary but 15-20 minutes should result in a runny yolk and firm white.

Oven Baked Egg in Toast Tips

Here are some tips on how to make perfect egg in toast in the oven (see above for more detailed instructions)

  1. Cut the toast thickly
  2. Bake the toast first, buttered all over, on a baking tray, at a higher heat (180C fan oven or equivalent)
  3. Reduce oven temperature (170C fan oven or equivalent)
  4. Crack a large egg into the hollow in the toast (see above)
  5. Cover the baking tray loosely with greaseproof paper, without actually touching the egg, tucking underneath to secure (this stops the yolk from drying out on top and forming a wrinkly crust)
  6. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes
  7. Serve immediately