What is a Sunday morning without a perfect breakfast? With a Sous-Vide cooker in the kitchen, this small research project is about preparing Eggs Benedict Sous-Vide style:
In October 2004, I was on a business trip to Detroit. I remember that one very well, because that morning I enjoyed an amazing sunrise:
The other thing I remember (and I did not take a picture): I had my first ‘Egg Benedict’ for breakfast that morning. I did not know what it was when I ordered it, but it was such a good thing, I will always remember that first one.
Cooking Egg Benedict is not the most simple thing. The traditional cooking of Egg Benedict involves poaching the eggs in hot water which is not that easy. While researching recipes for Sous-Vide, I saw ways to avoid the poaching in hot water. Instead, the eggs can be poached with the egg-shell using a Sous-Vide cooker! So I decided this morning: this is something I have to try, and it was worth the efforts!
‘Egg Benedict‘ is a combination of:
- Poached Egg
- Ham (or Bacon)
- Sauce Hollandaise (or Sauce Béchamel)
- Toast or English Muffin
The easiest part: The eggs get placed into 64°C warm water for one hour. I’m using a Sous-Vide Cooker to keep the temperature:
- 450 g white flour
- 1 cup lukewarm milk (~23°C)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon yeast
Mix everything in a bowl and kneat for 10 minutes or until soft, smooth and stretchy.
Cover it and let it rest for about 30 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
Place the dough on a work surface, roll it out to about 2 cm thick. Cut out the muffins, about 8 cm diameter, I’m using a beer glass 🙂 :
Place them on a baking sheet:
Leave it covered to prove for another 30 minutes:
Bake them on both sides in a hot pan, just that they have some brown surface:
Bake them for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven at 200°C:
Usually ‘Canadian Ham’ is used which is thicker. Different style does it as well. Browning in a pan and then wrap it in aluminium foil:
Placed it into the oven to keep it warm:
Use your favorite sauce (Béchamel or Hollandaise): This time it is Sauce Hollandaise:
Cut the Muffins in half and toast them:
Place ham on the muffin. Take an egg out of the wather bath and carefully open it up on one end.
Just open it so you can drop the egg on top of the ham and muffin:
Place sauce on top of it, plus any seasoning you like:
Below is a picture of the last one: it was about 10 minutes longer in the wather bath: still very good, but the egg could be a bit more liquid. The others were to the point:
Sous-Vide cooking Egg Benedict is now not that hard. Instead poaching eggs in hot water which is not that easy, I can cook them to the point in the water bath. Compared to poaching in hot water, the white part of the egg was a bit too soft, and the yellow part a bit to hard. But in any case it tasted very well :-).
Happy Benedicting 🙂
I think to get the white cooked first, you would need to use a higher temperature and shorter time. Some of it cooks at a lower temp than the yolk, but most of it will remain uncooked until 80C. http://www.scienceofcooking.com/eggs/eggs_sous_vide.htm
Thanks for that link!
I think it depends on the freshness of the eggs too. I have used http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/10/sous-vide-101-all-about-eggs.html as a guideline, and with 64°C I was even higher than 62.8°C. I agree that placing the egg (without the shell) into higher temperature water will cook more of the white, and if taken out faster the yolk will remain liquid. But it will be hard to fine the right time. With the sous-vide and constant temperature say 64°C timing is not as important.
I like the whites somewhat firm, but the yoke very runny. I tried the trick in the Serious Eats article for soft boiled eggs where you boil it for three minutes to set the white, chill it in an ice bath, and then sous-vide it. The appealing part of adding the sous-vide stage is that the egg becomes fully pasteurized and also nice and hot all the way through. Unfortunately, the one part of the process which is less predictable is the boiling to set the whites (the non sous-vide part). I used extra large eggs instead of a large eggs and the whites turned out less set than I like. Next time, I will use large eggs or extend the boiling time. I just recently picked up on sous-vide and really love the texture and done-ness of the proteins I have tried (steak and lamb). The off the wall ingredient I am looking to try? Octopus! (as part of a salad)
ah, interesting, I read that part with boiling water and ice bath too. I think it would make a difference if the boiling would be in a ‘traditional’ way without the shell. Did you do it with the shell or without? I think I would have to practice that boiling without the shell and then continue to warm up the yoke.
Octopus? Did not think about that, but sounds yummi!
I tried boiling it with the shell on. I wanted to be able to come back at a later time and use sous-vide to heat it up. Interesting article on the differences in egg handling US/Europe : https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/insider/why-do-americans-refrigerate-their-eggs.html?_r=0
Interesting! I was always wondering why eggs in the US were refrigerated, now that makes sense.
C’mon Erich – poaching an egg “normally” is not that difficult! 😀
Ok, ok, I think I need to practice it more 🙂
With the accurate temperature control obtainable with a Sous-Vide water bath, you could adapt the method employed by Heston Blumenthal:
Thanks for sharing! That’s another angle, thank you! Guess I have to try this out 🙂
Update: this morning doing the ‘normal’ poaching in water. Total desaster! 🙂