Toad in a Hole is a recipe from my childhood. It reminds me of of sleepovers at my grandparents house. My parents, sister, and I would go to their house on Fridays, and usually have tuna fish sandwiches for dinner and ice cream for dessert. Sometimes, my sister and I would get to spend the night there. This was a very exciting thing. We’d play card games with Grandma and Grandpa all evening, sometimes make a play in the basement, and then fight over who got to sleep in which bed. One bed frame was higher off the ground than the other, and somehow that made it soooooo much better. We’d fall asleep to the sounds of our grandparents watching a baseball game on TV with the volume very loud, and wake up to the sounds of them preparing breakfast.
In the morning we always had to brush our teeth before breakfast. This was not something we did at home. After teeth brushing we went to the kitchen table where Grandma would already be underway in making some special breakfast, and Grandpa would have orange juice poured ready for us to drink. I remember it so vividly because the orange juice always tasted so disgusting just after brushing your teeth.
One of our breakfast favorites was pancakes. Grandma would whip up some batter and serve us pancakes in any shape we requested. It was often a “K” or an “L”, for our names, or sometimes a plateful of tiny pancake dots. It got more and more complicated, and eventually we were requesting elephant and butterfly pancakes. Grandpa would cart plates of the different shaped pancakes from the stove over to the table where my sister and I were eagerly awaiting them. There was always syrup at the table, and I only even dunked the edge of a pancake in syrup, which is apparently not normal.
Other times, we had toad in a hole for breakfast. Toad in a hole is, I believe, a creation from WWII that combines your egg and toast. You cut a hole in the center of the toast and cook an over easy egg in that hole.
Toad (egg) in a (bread) hole. Creative, huh?
Although there are some advanced bread/egg flipping skills required to make this, the process is pretty simple, even to make GF and non-GF at the same time.
First, I always get out two plates, two skillets, and two spatulas! One set for the GF version and one set for the wheat toast version.
The GF set up is on the left, and the wheat bread set up is on the right. Everything is separate!
Next, you’ll cut a hole in the middle of the slices of bread. You can do it freehand with a knife, use a round cookie cutter if you have one, or even use a glass jar as the cookie cutter.
GF Bread and “holes”, cut and buttered.
After you’ve buttered the wheat bread, cut a pad of butter with the knife and put it on a plate. Butter the wheat bread from that pad, to keep the stick/tub of butter free of crumbs.
To cook, you put the bread in a heated pan and crack an egg right into the hole. It’s kind of fun.
Once the egg has solidified (it will be white and solid on the bottom, but not on the top) it’s time to flip the bread. Now, this can be tricky to do and keep the egg intact. I remember many Saturday mornings when Grandpa would shout over to us “Uh, oh! Grandma just broke a yolk!” I loosen the bread on each side before trying to lift it up and flip it. Still, sometimes yolks will break.
A GF Toad in a Hole, just after being flipped.
Once the egg has cooked through the toad in a hole is done. I like to cook the little bread circles right in the skillet, too, although a toaster will work. Best way to eat these (in my opinon): break the yolk and use the toast circles to scoop it up.
If you want to get really creative, like my Grandmother, you can use cookie cutters to make special shaped holes. We always asked for elephants (we had a special joke with my grandparents about an elephant hiding behind a butterfly. I can’t even explain it.)
My grandparents both passed away last fall, but this breakfast is not gone with them. I still enjoy it on a Saturday or Sunday morning and I think of them every time I make it. I plan to someday make it for my own children and grandchildren and keep the breakfast tradition alive. Sometimes just a simple breakfast can make some great memories!
Toad in a Hole
- sandwich bread
- butter, room temperature
- Cut a hole in the center of your sandwich bread, freehand, or using a cookie cutter. Lightly spread butter on both sides of the bread, and the circle you cut out of the bread. If preparing GF and non-GF, cut and butter all GF bread slices first, then prepare all wheat bread, then wash your hands.
- Heat two skillets over medium heat (or one skillet, if you are only using one type of bread).
- When pan is warm, place a slice of bread in the pan along with it’s cut out center. Crack and egg into the hole in the slice of bread. Use one skillet for all GF bread, and another for all wheat bread.
- When the egg has solidified on the bottom, use a spatula to flip the bread/egg over. If the egg is sticking a lot, it’s probably too soon to flip it. Flip over the small toast circle, also. Try not to break the egg yolk when you flip it!
- Cook for another couple of minutes, until the egg is cooked through and the bread is golden brown on the bottom.
- Repeat with any remaining bread slices.