Thursday, 22 August 2013

Soft-Boiled Bantam Eggs

To celebrate the arrival of the hens on The Urban Cottage - and because we've now been chicken keepers for one whole year - we're declaring this to be Chicken and Egg week.

Having two full sized hens and two bantams means our eggs come in a variety of sizes, and that means making a few adjustments to our recipes. One full sized egg is not quite equivalent to two bantam eggs - its more like two large to three small, which isn't a very convenient ratio. We tend to make it up as we go along, throwing in extra small eggs for good measure when we want the extra richness, and where the weight of the egg really matters - we use the large ones.

When it comes to breakfasts though we eat both in equal measure. When you poach, fry or coddle an egg you can keep an eye on it and stop cooking each egg when it is done, regardless of size. One place where timing is crucial though, is in a classic soft-boiled egg. It's tricky because you can't tell until you crack it open and dip your toast in as to whether it is wildly under, completely solid, or soft-boiled to gooey perfection. And I do like a good gooey egg for breakfast!

Strangely that there seemed to be very few internet references for soft-boiling these little eggs, so it took a little bit of research. A little help from the [egg circumference: cooking time] ratio in sous-vide water bath techniques however and we think we've got it cracked: room temperature Lemon and Pepper eggs soft-boil rather nicely in 3 mins 10 secs, and that Fizzy and Frog eggs cook in 2 mins 40 seconds. Yum.

The last little problem in the hunt for a perfect breakfast was what to use for bantam egg cups. Our normal egg cups are definitely too large. Or are they? Turned on their heads suddenly everything fits!

Breakfast is served.


6 comments:

  1. How do you coddle an egg? It sounds like wrapping it in cotton wool and bringing it hot drinks on the sofa...

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    1. I'd never noticed that before - do you think our eggs would like a cup of tea?

      We coddle eggs by cracking them into a buttered ramekin and popping them in the oven, but it turns out that coddling means much more than that. I've just learnt something new... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coddled_egg

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  2. Well done for cracking it!
    I use a mixture of farm eggs from next door and supermarket eggs and very rarely get the timing spot on.

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    1. I've spent years having similar problems... Normally ending up with under done eggs, so getting it right is a very pleasant change :)

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  3. Mmmm....you've made me hungry! My grandmother could make the best soft boiled eggs and I still remember how much I loved them when she made them for me. We didn't have egg cups, she just scooped them out in a bowl with a piece of buttered toast on the side. Like my mother, I don't have the knack at getting the timing just right. I always end up with a hard boiled egg. Oddly enough, when I want a hard boiled egg, I usually end up with one too soft. Go figure.

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    1. I'd never thought of just scooping them into a bowl before - one to remember when there are no egg cups handy. There is something very nostalgic about a soft boiled egg isn't there :)

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