The Bagel Egg in a Hole, the Best Thing Since Bagels and Eggs

November  5, 2015

Many bread-like products can be the hole for a toad/egg: the classic piece of toast, but also a donut, biscuit, grilled cheese, pizza slice, pancake or waffle, kouign amann, or quesadilla. These options are fun, they probably taste good—but whether they're better than the sum of their parts is debatable. 

On the other hand, a bagel egg in a hole is better than eggs and bagels on their own. And this is saying a lot: I eat more eggs than anything else, and I chose my apartment in Oakland based on its proximity to a bagel shop (my last name also rhymes with bagel, which seems like an important detail).

Shop the Story

The Bagel Egg in a Hole is nearing brilliance because:

  • It takes approximately 3 minutes and exactly 5 ingredients to create. 
  • The bagel gets cut in half before hitting the pan, so its belly griddled (h/t Marian Bull). It’s like diner toast, crisp with butter—but the inner depths of the bagel are pillowy and warmed. What did a toaster ever do for you?
  • The egg yolk stays soft while the white parts get crispy. Don’t believe me? Lift up the bagel when it’s done and you’ll see a griddled bagel and little crackly brown bits of egg white. 
  • It’s easier to make and eat than an egg sandwich: The yolk is contained in its hole and, when broken into, is immediately surrounded by bagel to mop it up. There’s also no flipping or moving of delicate egg—or layering of components while preserving said sensitive egg (some mornings, this is really hard. You know it).
  • It's amenable to your bagel sandwich preferences: Melt cheese on top, add on bacon or greens, slather it in hot sauce and ketchup. The Bagel Egg in a Hole could be your end game—or your canvas.
  • Stale bagels can get a second life—possibly as something more interesting than their first.
  • One bagel feeds two people (this is more an option than proven fact. I have always eaten both halves.)

Bagel Egg in a Hole

Makes 2

1 bagel
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • JoesDiner
  • Joelle
  • KLD1967
  • FoodieYogi
  • DragonFly
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


JoesDiner February 18, 2021
OMG . . .this egg-in-bagel-hole is fantastic. Read article to see list of reasons why. Another: I used to make nieces/nephews "Pirate's Eyes" - basically, an egg fried in a hole in toast. They loved them. But the kids are grown now . . . Pirate's Eyes just a memory. . . until now. Wait til they see how Uncle Joe has upped his game! Arrgh! LOL
Joelle April 6, 2016
Tried it on a Montreal bagel...amazing!!!
KLD1967 March 3, 2016
I am in love with this snack since I first saw it when you wrote the column in November. In fact, I had it for breakfast yesterday when I had an unexpected snow day. I throw a bit of shredded cheese on top at the end. It's surprising how good this is.
FoodieYogi March 3, 2016
I do this in toast. But Bagels > Toast. (now I wondering about doing this to a croissant)
DragonFly November 29, 2015
Who would have thought, something as simple as that!
Ted November 29, 2015
I don't care that much for bagels ... prefer onion or sweet pepper rings to hold the egg instead
Fork O. November 29, 2015
Simply brilliant.

Perfect for my wife's new hobby (homemade bagel making), and our friends excess eggs (right off the farm).
Ellen K. November 29, 2015
Perfect timing! Just picked up 1/2 dz everything bagels freshly made this morning. Can't wait to try this...
Ayana G. November 10, 2015
Beauty's smoked trout salad on an everything bagel!!! Thank me later
Lee S. November 29, 2015
I'll thank you now!
Rosemary November 9, 2015
While this sounds yummy, it is not a toad in the hole.A toad in a hole is Yorkshire pudding with sausages.
Hannah W. November 8, 2015
Done and done. How have I never thought of this before?!
Walter L. November 6, 2015
dima G. November 6, 2015
brilliant! going to make this weekend with bagels from said telegraph ave spot ;)
laurenlocally November 6, 2015
This is ahhhhmazing.
Kenzi W. November 5, 2015
Stale bagels! This is genius! Ali! This is genius!
Lindsay-Jean H. November 5, 2015
And time for a bagel run.
Cristina S. November 5, 2015
Um, yes.
Tina November 5, 2015
Need. Now.
Sarah J. November 5, 2015
I'm having this for dinner.