5 Ingredients or Fewer

One-Eyed Sandwiches

November  9, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Although they go by many other names -- egg in the basket, egg-in-the-hole, bird's nest, to name a few -- in our house we called them "one-eyed sandwiches," and the technique originated with my grandfather. I'm biased, to be sure, but there are a few small details that I think really make Grandpa's egg sandwiches better than all the other versions out there. The first is the use of white bread. (Believe me, I love grainy, wheaty bread as much as the next person, but for these sandwiches, white bread is the way to go.) Grandpa always preferred Pepperidge Farm, which has a bit of sweetness to it. Another key step is toasting the bread before you fry it. This ensures that it's nice and crisp, which makes a nice counterpart to the salty, soft-cooked egg. Last but not least, Grandpa never threw away the little rounds of toast but instead fried them along with the sandwiches, and these then became little lids for the "eyes" at the end. My sister and I always saved these for last, as a final crisp, buttery treat. I'm guessing that any small people who happen to be at your house for breakfast will do the same. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 large eggs, preferably free-range and/or organic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Lightly toast the bread and butter both sides with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Using a 1 1/2" round biscuit cutter (or a shot glass), cut a circle out of the middle of each slice of bread. Do not throw away the circles!
  2. In a medium, nonstick skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. When it starts foaming, add the toast slices and the little toast rounds and cook for a minute or two on each side, until nice and golden. Push the little rounds to one side of the pan, and then gently crack an egg into the hole of each slice of toast. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the white has set around the sides of the sandwich, and then gently flip and cook the other side for another minute or so, until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still nice and runny. Put each sandwich on a plate, top with the crispy little toast rounds, and serve immediately with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Ruth
  • Scott Fitzgerald
    Scott Fitzgerald
  • carroll
  • Pork n' Tofu
    Pork n' Tofu

29 Reviews

FrugalCat December 7, 2021
In my family we called them "Egyptian Eye" and my dad would rather have them than french toast or pancakes.
Nan April 2, 2019
This is the first solid food I fed to my infant when she was ready for solids. I put it thru a food mill after it was cooked. We called it eggy in the basket. It would make her giggle when I'd ask her if she wanted it for breakfast.
Merrill S. April 2, 2019
Love this so much! Thanks for sharing.
Nan April 2, 2019
I can still remember her yummy noises when she was gumming it.
Ruth December 29, 2018
When I was a kid we called this "Spit in the Eye" but my husband grew up calling it "Toad in the Hole" - either way it's pretty delicious, simple food.
Henry May 21, 2016
This is the same thing my grandfather told us he used to eat when he was low on money as a youth. He said it made him feel rich eating something special for breakfast. It's fun and the memories are priceless.
Scott F. November 8, 2015
I've had these nearly every day for a year. I cook my eggs in with the bread and love to cook them about light/medium and have all the sweet gooey yolk mixed with the bread and eat hashbrowns and have hot chocolate with them. My little bit of breakfast of heaven from Cracker Barrel.
Sandi August 16, 2014
I never even looked at this recipe, because I've been eating/making it for years - my Dad called it "Chicken on the Roof" (for the person below that "collects the different names") I'm not sure why I looked just now, but I'm so glad I did! It solved a big problem I've always had - the yolk gets too cooked waiting for the bread to toast in the pan. I never thought to TOAST THE BREAD FIRST!! Duhhh... Another "Genius" recipe? I say "YES!"
carroll February 2, 2014
In Omaha, some 60 years ago, we called these Bird Nests. I've made them for my kids and then, my grandkids...

Pork N. September 19, 2013
My husband calls them "Russian Hotel Eggs" and our friend calls them "cowboy eggs." We love to collect the different names for this amazing dish!
Rebecca September 5, 2013
Ha, these are toad holes.
Droplet March 9, 2013
I was leafing through a 30 years old cookbook recently and the recipe called for putting a whole peppercorn in the center of the yolk once it begins to set...somebody took their one-eyed sandwiches very seriously :)
dawnek September 7, 2012
I ate my fair share of these growing up, my dad, a former marine mess hall cook, called these elephant eyes.
latinacocina July 18, 2012
My little sister always called them "egg with a hole in the middle"!! Doesn't really make sense when you think about it, but she was 4, and it stuck.
rpenovich June 23, 2012
My sister-in-law in England calls these Toad-in-the-Hole like Msveedub above. My 10-year-old craves the buttery, griddled bread and we can always entice him to eat an egg if it's Toad-in-the-Hole. Although he always eats the "bread circle" first. Merrill, I don't how you and sister could resist and save it til the end. :)
jumpinjavelina March 22, 2012
Ours were One Eyed Jacks - like the Brando movie!
bgardner March 5, 2012
Our family always called these "Eggs in a basket" LOL
bgardner March 5, 2012
Our family always called these "Eggs in a basket" LOL
Lyn F. March 2, 2012
Berkeley in the fifties we called them Shanghai eggs ..... and the little rounds were the best part!
Lyn F. March 2, 2012
Berkeley in the fifties we called them Shanghai eggs ..... and the little rounds were the best part!
jose R. January 7, 2012
My kids love when I make this for them, I call them " Moon over Miami. " and we use the circle " moon" to dip into the yolk.
mcs3000 December 7, 2011
I make it the same way - mmm. Have you also had the one by 'ino (truffled egg toast) in New York? Amanda wrote about it in Cooking for Mr. Latte. Worth a trip just for that.