Basic baked eggs

You know I love eggs, and for so many reasons.  I always think it's a treat when I see baked eggs on the menu at a restaurant.  Poached eggs, sure, but I rarely see baked eggs on the offering so I get excited when I do spot it.  
Somehow, baked eggs feel like a treat...maybe it's just me but there's something seemingly luxurious about it.  It's a wonder I've never made it at home.  As basic as it sounds, it's been on my list of things to whip up one day at home and I finally did it over the past weekend.

This is your blank canvas of baked eggs.  I simply baked the eggs with some salt and pepper and a drizzle of whole milk.  We had turkey bacon and some toast soldiers on the side with it.  It was a fun way to have eggs differently for breakfast.  Variety keeps things interesting and gives us something to talk about (well...picture me going on and on about eggs...) so it's definitely a good thing.
I think I might have figured out why baked eggs seem so luxurious to me when I order it at a restaurant.  Aside from the fact that it takes a little extra effort to make, it just might be the heavy cream and likely cheese and other little touches that have been added to it.  

At home, I settled into a more modest, simple baked egg but, as you know, the possibilities of adding flavor and dolling them up are almost endless.  You can incorporate any and everything from cooked onions, leeks, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms to adding some herbs, cheese, and bacon or ham to it.

Water bath or no water bath?

In an effort to try and provide some value-add here today (I can't promise that all the time...as you have no doubt realized, this blog is all about the random, chocolate-leaning, whims of a true amateur), I thought I'd try to figure out whether a hot water bath is necessary when it comes to making baked eggs.  

If you've looked into this, you've no doubt seen recipes that call for a water bath to set the eggs into when baking and others that make no mention of any such thing.
The baked egg on the left was baked in a water bath, right one was not
I was curious and did a little testing.  In my distinctly unprofessional opinion, I'd say you should use a water bath.  I found that the one baked in a water bath cooked more gently and evenly through (on the left, above), meaning I ended up with a softer, smoother-textured baked egg.  The egg baked in the oven without a water bath was good but not as silky.  I would note that the egg baked without the water bath cooked quicker.  Depending on how you look at it, that might be a good thing and the overall convenience might sway you into making them that way.  

In general, I'd just say that keeping a close eye on the eggs while baking is the most important thing to do when making these.  For me, I like my egg yolks runny and soft while the whites are just set.


One of my first stops when I hit the farmer's market is to grab a box of eggs.  I love when I open up the box and see a variety of colors, sizes, and well, even the dirt on some of them.  I'm happy to use some of these for our breakfast of baked eggs. 
I was also happy for an excuse to whip up a loaf of English muffin bread, too!  I toasted a couple of slices up and cut them into batons or soldiers to go alongside.  It's classic and I'm into that.
Now...about baking the eggs.  Ideally, if you're just baking one egg at a time, small, 2-3 ounce, ramekins are perfect.  With a slightly larger ramekin, you can easily fit 2 eggs in at a time.  The key really is to keep an eye on them if doing both because the single egg cooks quicker than the duo.  I simply sprinkled the tops of the eggs with salt and pepper.  As I mentioned, I drizzled the top with some milk, rather than cream.  The extra liquid is meant to help the egg from potentially drying out.  A little extra moisture doesn't hurt. 
I set my eggs (including the one I baked without a hot water bath) in a 350 degree oven.  From there on, it's all about the timing and how you want your eggs done.
I prefer a soft, essentially-runny egg yolk, with set whites.  For the egg baked without a water bath, that meant about 13-14 minutes.  The single egg in the water bath took about 18-20 minutes, and the ramekin with two eggs inside needed a little over 20 minutes, about 22-23 minutes.  (It's not as complicated as it sounds if you're not trying to take pictures and document what you're doing!)  
Eventually, we all sat down and dug into our eggs, toast, and turkey bacon.  That's always the fun part...and truth be told, I often can't wait to make the same thing I did again, without the photographing and rushing, so I can enjoy the process even more.  
I love breakfast and eggs!

Recipe:

Basic Baked Eggs
Adapted from Cooking Light and The Kitchn

- For two eggs here; adjust according to your needs - 

Olive oil (or butter), to coat ramekins
2 large eggs
Salt & pepper
2 teaspoons milk (or cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Have a small oven-safe baking dish (or one large enough to hold the number of ramekins you're baking if making more) as well as a kettle of very hot water on standby.

Coat the inside of two small ramekins (2-3 ounce ramekins are ideal; if using larger 5-6 ounce ramekins, fit two eggs into each) with some olive oil.  Carefully (so as not to break the yolk) crack an egg into each.  Sprinkle the tops of the eggs with salt and pepper, then top each with a teaspoon of milk.  Set ramekins into the baking dish (you can line the bottom of the baking dish with a dish towel to prevent the ramekins from sliding when moved) and fill the dish with very hot water, about halfway up the sides of the ramekin.  Carefully transfer to the oven.

Bake until whites are set.  For a soft, slightly-runny egg yolks, this takes roughly 18-20 minutes.  Keep a close eye on the eggs near the end of the bake time to avoid over-cooking and bear in mind that bake time may take longer if you're using larger ramekins and baking two in each.





38 comments:

  1. What gorgeous eggs from your farmer's market! I love all those colors and specks!

    And I can't believe I'm admitting this but I've never had baked eggs .... I feel ashamed :) haha I keep meaning to make them and then just always forget on the weekends! I must fix this soon!

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    1. I can't resist those green and blue ones...their shells are thicker, too.
      Definitely no shame in the lack of baked eggs...I have been thinking of making them at home for, oh, 10 years...so better late than never.

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  2. Those farmer market eggs are so great! I have to try the baked eggs in water batch next time too. It looks really smooth.

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    1. I agree. I just feel good using them! : )

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  3. I've never attempted baked eggs at home either, though I love eating them at restaurants. Not sure why I haven't tried to make them myself! I think it's about time seeing as how they're really not harder than poached eggs!

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    1. I knew I wasn't alone! : ) Honestly, my favorite thing is still a good fried egg and since that takes about 60 seconds or so to make, it's hard to get 'cracking' on making these baked eggs. It feels like a ton more effort compared to that other 60 seconds. Thats said, it's fun to mix things up once in a blue moon.

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  4. I just want to dive one of your English muffin crusts into the dippy egg! I have never baked eggs and from your experiment I will be using a water bath. Thanks so much. BAM

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    1. haha - sounds great! I love the idea of toast 'soldiers' for dipping into a runny egg yolk. Thanks, BAM!

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  5. Oh I want this sooo bad this morning! Thanks for the craving!

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    1. We're al here to inspire cravings in each other, I think. ; )

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  6. This was a really information post. I've never baked eggs before, and now I'm looking forward to trying. And I'll be sure to use a water bath!

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    1. That's really nice of you to say for this basic of all basic little post here. Glad if it inspires you to bake some eggs - with a water bath. ; )

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  7. Hi Monica, Love eggs like this, I think they are better baked in a water bath too, love your little soldier toast and the English muffin bread as well.

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    1. Thanks, Cheri. I had read in one place someone saying it didn't make a difference...then another who said water bath was better. There are recipes for both so I'm glad I tried both. These types of questions nag at me...

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  8. The eggs look gorgeous Monica! I've never tried making baked eggs at home and need to try next time with your water bath method:) Thanks for the awesome tip and it sounds amazing with your English muffin bread which I really really loved last time and definitely think it's time for a new batch to go with these eggs:)

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    1. Glad I could be of some tiny use. haha. The English muffin bread is so darn easy and it's great to whip up every now and then. Glad you like it!

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  9. I never realized a water bath made such a difference- this is a great post!

    Sues

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    1. Aw, thanks! This was my experience anyway. It's not as though you *must* have the water bath but it seemed to make for more of a classic baked egg result...more custardy, if you will...

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  10. i've never once seen baked eggs on a restaurant menu - obviously i'm not hanging out in the right places. :) and i've never tried them at home, but this has inspired me to do so: i think they sound luxurious also, and i've wanted to try them, but i just chicken out and do "normal" eggs. definitely trying this...WITH water bath.

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    1. It's pretty rare but some places that specialize in breakfast/brunch have them and I will associate and remember a restaurant that does serve it. Baking them in a flatter gratin (flan) type dish is nice too and you can do two eggs in there, add something to them or not...too many options and sometimes that's a deterrent to being practical at home.

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  11. I loved baked eggs, and you definitely nailed this tutorial! I'm definitely trying a water bath next time.

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    1. I don't know about tutorial but my little 'experiment' satisfied my curiosity. : ) Thanks, Jessica.

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  12. Sure, I'll adopt your professional advice, and soon to enjoy breakfasts with such nicely baked eggs. Just wondering if the water-bath method is first created for eggs or for cakes : ).

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    1. I'm as far from professional as you can get, let's be serious! : ) It is curious as to how the whole water bath thing started...

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  13. I don't think I knew you could bake eggs! I have baked them in their shell before, but not cracked. I learn something new every day! They look good, and I love eggs - so this is a great idea!

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    1. Love that...it's always nice to see something new. I learn something everyday, too.

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  14. Definitely delicious and worth to try baked egg recipe!!
    pretty damn beautifully captured too....

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    1. Thank you - doesn't much more basic than an egg but I love it. : )

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  15. Why don't you have your own restaurant! It's your destiny! Delicious!

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    1. How did I manage to trick you into thinking that?!! : )

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  16. I've seen this method of cooking eggs before (numerous times) but I never actually paid attention to the recipes or read in detail. This is such a great idea. I want my kids to have protein in the morning. They don't like boiled eggs that much, but this is PERFECT. I can pop the eggs in the oven (or maybe premade previous night...while cleaning up the dinner etc) and it's ready! Frying eggs takes short time but I just need to be around...and paying attention. Love this egg in ramekin. Thank you for introducing this recipe!!

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    1. My son liked these though he usually prefers fried eggs of some kind. The first time you make these, you'll have to watch it close to make sure it doesn't overcook...but once you know, I think it's much easier thereafter...Thanks, Nami!

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  17. Oh I love this post and your random tests! I too feel a water bath provides a uniform and delicate texture to the eggs. I bake eggs frequently with whatever is available as add-ins especially the Chakchouka kind. Your tips are fantastic. keep them coming!

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    1. haha - yes, I'm totally random but this satisfied my curiosity. Having leftovers and chopping them up to add into these is a wonderful idea!

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  18. Very interesting Monica!! Will definitely try this with a water bath. I love eggs too!! What great photos, particularly the boxed eggs!! :-)

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    1. I love the eggs at the farmer's market, too, Jo. The shells are thicker/harder. The mix is so interesting and the colors pretty to look at. : )

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  19. Whoa, I actually don't think I've ever had baked eggs before, and I never thought about it until now! I really should try this out (:

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    1. A nice baked egg or two for your weekend breakfast...sounds good to me!

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