This recipe features the best of breakfast in one package, Bacon & Egg (in a) Muffin with a hint of maple syrup and a surprise inside.
Ok, I’ll fess up right off the bat. I didn’t come up with the idea for a muffin with a soft egg inside. I wish I did, but I’m totally stealing the idea from Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco.
A couple of months ago when a photo of the muffin popped up on my Facebook news feed I was immediately stricken with envy that I didn’t invent this genius muffin.
The original dish has the egg encased in what they call a “meat cake”. I’m not really sure what that is, so I decided to make a muffin using some of my favorite ingredients; buttermilk, corn meal and maple syrup. These all also happen to be great breakfast ingredients. The muffins would have to be baked in a jumbo muffin pan to accommodate the egg.
Trial & Error to create the perfect Bacon & Egg (in a) Muffin:
I thought the hard part of mastering this dish would be figuring out how to bake an egg inside a muffin so that the white cooked through and the yolk remained soft.
For the first test-run of the recipe I used eggs prepared 3 different ways. I soft boiled two eggs, froze two eggs in the shell (yes, it’s possible), peeled the frozen eggs then put them into the muffin batter. I also cracked a raw egg right into the muffin batter.
From that first batch I learned that soft boiled eggs were the way to go. The raw egg cooked through and had a hard yolk. The frozen eggs didn’t cook enough and had runny whites as well as a runny yolks (runny yolks=Yum, runny whites≠Yum).
I didn’t realize that the real problem would be getting the right texture for the muffin. I started with a version of my Cast Iron Skillet Corn Bread. The muffins from the first test batch were very dense and rubbery.
I realized I’d manipulated the batter too much and probably knocked all the air bubbles formed by the baking soda out of the batter before it went into the oven. Also, I wanted a little more sweetness and moisture.
So it took three more test rounds to get the texture and flavor I wanted for the muffin. I adjusted the ratio of flour to corn meal to lighten the crumb, upped the amount of buttermilk for more moisture, made the batter a little sweeter, and used a mix of baking soda and baking powder to get more lift when the batter hit the oven.
Be Eggzacting (sorry!) when boiling the eggs!
A few notes on handling the eggs; Once the cold eggs go into the water (just an inch of water) cook them for exactly 5 minutes. I don’t often use a kitchen timer, but for these eggs I did. As soon as the timer goes off bring the pot to the sink and fill it with cold water to stop the cooking. Let them cool for 5 minutes then put them in a bowl in the refrigerator to cool completely. I did this step the night before. Put the unpeeled eggs in the freezer while you’re making the batter (for no more than 1/2 an hour, you don’t want to freeze them). This way the eggs are very cold when they go into the oven and I found them easier to peel. I got perfect eggs every time using this method.
So here it is, all the best parts of breakfast in one muffin; bacon, maple syrup, corn bread and a runny egg yolk for dipping. Thanks to chef William Werner at Craftsman and Wolves for the inspiration.
Watch the recipe video to see how-to put together these amazing Bacon & Egg Muffins:
- 6 large eggs, cold
- 12 ounces (340g) bacon
- 2 1/2 cups (12.5oz, 322g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (7.5oz, 212g) yellow corn meal
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup (2oz, 55g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Powder OR Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (30 ml)
- 2 1/4 cups (18oz , 560ml) buttermilk
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (2 oz, 60ml) butter or bacon fat, melted
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a small pot
- Gently place the 6 cold eggs into the pot, cover
- Reduce the heat to medium and steam the eggs for exactly 5 minutes
- Remove the pot from the stove and immediately fill the pot with cold water to stop the cooking
- Let the eggs cool in the water for 5 minutes then place in the refrigerator to cool completely
- When you're ready to make the muffin batter, put the eggs into the freezer while making the batter (up to 1/2 hr)
- Cook the bacon slices until crisp, chop into small bacon bits
- Grease a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin with butter or bacon fat, then flour
- Preheat the oven to 350F convection or 375F regular.
Make the batter
- Whisk together the flour, corn meal, salt, baking soda, sugar and spice in a mixing bowl.
- Toss the bacon bits into the dry ingredients
- In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk maple syrup and eggs
- Whisk the melted butter (or bacon fat) into the buttermilk mixture
- Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, don't over mix
- Fill each each muffin cup 1/4 way with batter
- Use a spoon to create a well in the middle of each muffin
- Take the soft boiled eggs out of the freezer and gently peel each egg
- Place one egg, pointed end up, into each muffin tin, nestling it down into the batter
- Spoon the batter around and over each egg, being careful not to break the egg white
- Bake for 20 minutes just until the top of the muffin springs back when pressed.
- If you're not sure it's done pick a bit of the crust off the top to see if it's baked. Don't poke a toothpick into the muffin or you might break the egg.
- Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
- If a "muffin top" sticks to the top of the pan use the tip of a small knife to loosen the top. Carefully tilt the pan to one side, grasp a muffin by the top and gently shimmy it out of the pan.
You may have a little extra batter, which can be baked as muffins without the egg inside.
The muffins are best eaten while still warm from the oven. You don't want to use a knife or you might break the yolk inside the muffin.
Leftover muffins can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for a day or so. Wrap the muffin in foil and warm in the oven, being careful not to overheat and cook the yolk.