The Good Egg: Delicious Ways to Start the Day
Expand your egg repertoire or just refine your egg prep skills with these tips from our expert.
Simply put, we love eggs. Whether they are the flavor star of a breakfast dish or a supporting ingredient, eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein. “Eating eggs in the morning is a great way to start your day,” says Tom Gumpel, head baker at Panera Bread®. “They give your brain a boost and provide energy all day long.”
And there are so many delicious recipes to choose from - from baked to scrambled eggs. Tom has some quick and easy ideas to get you started.
Here’s Tom’s tried-and-true method for perfectly poached eggs. Crack an egg into a small bowl and set it aside. Bring 1 quart of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a boil. Briskly stir the water until it forms a vortex (it will look like a little whirlpool in the pan). Drop the egg into the center. Let the water come to a stop on its own, and then lift the egg from the pan. “The trick is to keep the water temperature just below a fast boil, and to leave the egg alone,” adds Tom. “When the water stops spinning, the egg is ready.”
A light, flaky crust plus an egg filling equals one delicious breakfast. Whether your preference is for a traditional quiche or something a little different, baked eggs are a great way to start the day. “Our Baked Egg Soufflés are like a cross between a soufflé and a quiche,” says Tom, who credits the light croissant dough at Panera Bread with making this dish a standout.
At home, Tom bakes eggs inside a small casserole dish. First, he cuts a hole into the center of a thick slice of toasted bread and presses the bread into an oven-safe dish. Then he cracks an egg into the hole. He bakes it until the egg is set. For added flavor, he places sliced tomatoes on top of the egg, seasons it to taste, and then bakes it. If you like, you can also sprinkle on a little shredded cheese.
Though its execution requires a bit of finesse, an omelet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. “Let the egg sit in the pan until the bottom starts to cook,” says Tom. “Then slowly push the sides of the egg in toward the center.” Once the egg is cooked, add the filling, gently fold the omelet in half, and carefully slide it out of the pan. The biggest mistake at-home cooks make is overfilling the omelet. Also, don’t overbeat it.
More forgiving than an omelet, scrambling quickly turns eggs into something special. “I love the idea of egg scrambles in the morning - they’re tender and loaded with flavor,” says Tom, who sautés ingredients - everything from diced bacon and ham to pesto and fresh veggies - and then folds in the beaten eggs. “The key is to keep the eggs in constant motion, breaking them up as they cook,” he adds.