And I do mean everything. Grab a beer and buckle in, because this is LONG.
If you want to skip all the anecdotal stuff and tips, I one-hundred percent don’t mind if you want to scroll all the way down to the bottom to just grab the recipes.
(Even I do that sometimes.)
Hello. Good morning. I’m happy to have you here.
This past Sunday, we hosted brunch. This was hugely exciting for a number of reasons, the first and foremost of which is that OHMYGOSH I NEVER ENTERTAIN AT MY HOUSE.
Seriously, though, if anyone ever comes over, I cook for them and give them a beverage and invite them to sit, chat, etc.
But it’s never any kind of… production.
Sunday brunch, though, in my humble view, ought to be a production.
And Eggs Benedict.
I made the English muffins, I made the hollandaise, and you damn well better believe I poached the crap out of those eggs. They were perfect.
At least, I think so.
Anyway, we’ll start with the most time consuming of the three: the English muffins.
I just need to say… this is my new favorite dough. It was so nice to work with and so lovely to knead.
I will admit that, since we are mostly dairy-free at home, I made these with soy milk instead of whole milk, but the recipe does call for whole. So long as it’s warm, your yeast should still rise just fine, though I’m thinking that the difference in milk is why my structure was perhaps a bit more dense than expected.
Still, I must say, awfully tasty and, again, a lot of fun to work with.
The Canadian bacon is simple enough. Slice it up, toss it for a minute or two in a frying pan. Voila. Bacon and sausage are great substitutes, and I’ve even done it with chorizo before, which is fantastic. Hot sauce and hollandaise, anyone?
Speaking of hollandaise!
Notoriously difficult to get perfect unless you are very careful with the temperature. I feel like I’ve hit a good stride with not splitting hollandaise sauce (knock on wood), so below is my version. You’ll notice I like to add mustard to mine. Don’t judge. It’s delicious.
If you’re going for something more classic, though, I get it. Forgo the mustard and the same recipe still does a great job.
I also put cheese on mine, because while we’re mostly dairy-free, I’m not a monster. I can appreciate a good Irish cheese as much as (if not more than) anyone. Heard of Skellig? No? Look it up, then go buy some. Heaven.
I butter my English muffins first, because I figure my handsome gentleman wouldn’t set me up with a full drawer of butter in the fridge if he didn’t want me to use it.
You think I’m kidding?
We’re serious about our butter stockpile, y’all.
Anyhow, butter the English muffin, then Canadian bacon, then (in my case, at least) some lovely cheese. All of that goes into the oven to toast for a few minutes while the poached eggs get to happening.
I’ll admit that I panicked internally on the first few because… well, they didn’t look so pretty in the saucepan.
But! They looked great when I pulled them out.
I have to tell you, I was awfully pleased. My home slice Gordon Ramsey had some great tips via YouTube on how to get them just right. Salt your poaching water and swirl.
Then you’re ready to go on your hollandaise (I have a bit of a heavy hand with this step), and ta da! You’re very own Eggs Benedict, homemade English muffins and all!
In hindsight, I might have chosen a different colored plate…
Also, I was too excited to take pictures of the first wonderful runny yoke, but I got the second!
See it? See it??!! Gorgeous.
Okay, I’m done bragging. Do please have the most wonderful time with the recipes below, and should you need any tool or book recommendations, keep scrolling and check out a few of my favorites!
Enjoy and happy brunch!
- 1 and 3/4 cups warm milk (no higher than 104 F)
- 2 teaspoons of activated dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons of softened butter
- 1 rounded teaspoon of salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 cups of flour
- semolina to coat muffins and sprinkle on skillet/pan
I do recommend starting with four cups of flour and then sprinkling on a bit more at a time as needed. You will ultimately want a soft dough that stretches nicely, but does not stick.
- Mix all ingredients except for semolina together in a large bowl until a soft dough begins to form. If using a stand mixer, beat on medium speed using the dough hook for about five minutes. If not using a stand mixer, bring dough together and knead for at least five minutes. A smooth ball should form that does not stick.
- Cover dough and let rise for about two hours.
- Once risen, roll out dough into a wide rectangle and cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Coat each side of each dough circle in semolina.
- Leave dough circles to rest under parchment paper for about twenty more minutes.
- Heat skillet or pan to medium-low. No more than three or four at a time, place your dough rounds on the skillet or pan. You will notice them begin to rise slightly as the first sides cook. They should take about eight to ten minutes on each side.
- Leave to cool completely, slice open, butter, and enjoy!
Do not flip your muffins more than once! Allow them to cook completely one side at a time until golden brown and crispy.
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup of melted butter (two sticks)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- spicy brown mustard to taste (if desired)
- Separate your eggs so that your yolks are in a heat safe bowl (that you will place over a saucepan of simmering water) or double boiler.
- Using either a whisk or a handheld mixer, whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice. Be careful not to let the eggs mixture bowl touch the hot water underneath.
- When egg mixture becomes light and frothy, about double in size, slowly add the melted butter a bit at a time. Once butter is fully incorporated, whisk in salt, pepper, and mustard as desired.
- Pour over eggs Benedict, asparagus, salmon, or whatever else you like! Enjoy!
As for the poached eggs, I’m going to have to leave that magic to the master…
(I cheated and used white wine vinegar, but Gordon doesn’t need to know that…)
If you’re looking for some tools and ingredients, click on the images below!