Eggs Benedict is a dish that consists of poached eggs served on toasted English muffins and covered with (Canadian) bacon and hollandaise sauce.
Eggs Benedict is by far one of the most popular versions of eggs. Want to learn how to make them so they taste delicious?
Start your days with eggs
Many people start their day with different types of eggs. Eggs are perfect for the start of the day because they have a lot of proteins and they boost your energy.
Besides that, they can keep you full for a long period of time. A lot of ingredients can be mixed with the eggs, but also you can prepare the eggs in a variety of different ways.
You can have a soft or a hard-boiled egg, scrambled egg, fried egg (over easy with a soft yolk, sunny side up without flipping, hard fried, or basted with hot fat or batter also without flipping), poached egg, shired egg, or different types of omelette (plain, flat, stuffed and folded, or just folded).
As you can see there are many varieties that can keep your breakfast choice interesting but they all share the same ingredient – eggs.
Eggs Benedict history
There are two versions of the Eggs Benedict’s origin.
The first one is related to Delmonico’s Restaurant and its chef Charles Ranhofer who invented the recipe and called it “Eggs a’ la Benedick“. He included it in the cookbook “The Epicurean“, which was published in 1894.
The second version is related to a Wall Street broker called Lemuel Benedict. In 1894, he had a hangover while staying in the Waldorf Hotel in New York. He ordered “buttered toast, crisp bacon, two poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce”. The chef Oscar Tschirky liked the dish so much, he put it on the menu, but with modifications. He replaced crisped bacon with Canadian bacon and toasted bread with the toasted English muffin.
There’s a large number of Eggs Benedict variations. We will name just a few. Mostly, only a different sauce is added, or there is only one different ingredient added to the “original” recipe.
- Hussarde – add Holland risks instead of English muffins and bordelaise sauce instead of hollandaise sauce
- California Eggs Benedict – add slices of Hass avocado (some versions include slices of tomato, too)
- Irish Benedict – add beef or Irish bacon
- Omar – add small steaks
- Mornay – add Mornay cheese sauce instead of hollandaise sauce
- Florentine – add (cream or fresh) spinach and sometimes Mornay sauce, mushroom cream, or artichokes
- Blackstone – add slices of tomato and bacon stripes
- Blanchard – add white sauce (Béchamel) instead of hollandaise sauce
- Atlantic – add (smoked) salmon
- Trivette – add crayfish and Creole mustard (in addition to hollandaise sauce, not instead)
- Huevos Benedictos – add slices of avocado, Mexican chorizo pork sausages, and the salsa sauce
Eggs Benedict salad
Some chefs make the healthier version of the Eggs Benedict, by replacing the hollandaise sauce with the yogurt dressing (with olive oil, mustard, lemon zest, and lemon juice) with the addition of greens, ham, radicchio, chives, and even croutons. The poached eggs go on top. But since this is a type of salad, you can add any type of salad you prefer.
The vegetarian version of Eggs Benedict
As always, the vegetarian versions omit the meat, and in this case, bacon. It is usually replaced with mushroom slices, soy sauce, olive oil, and paprika.
They are fried over medium to high heat to become crispy and imitate the bacon. The rest of the recipe is the same as the usual Eggs Benedict.
How to make Eggs Benedict
This is the right timeline for making the Eggs Benedict. First, you will make the hollandaise sauce, then poach the eggs. After that, you will warm the Canadian bacon and then, toast the English muffins. Then, you will put all the ingredients together in the following order: English muffins – Canadian bacon – poached eggs – hollandaise sauce.
Poach the eggs
So, what are the poached eggs? Those are the eggs cooked without their shell, in the water at a lower temperature. Don’t confuse these with boiled eggs which are boiled in the water with the shell and at high temperatures.
The essence of the poached eggs is that the egg white is firm and the yolk is soft and liquid. For that reason, they are cooked only for about three to four minutes.
The goal is to have a nice yolk spill over your dish when you cut into it. This type of eggs is one of the most important parts of the Eggs Benedict dish.
So, make sure to master the technique of poaching eggs before you move on to prepare Eggs Benedict.
This is how you do it. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. If it has any thinner parts, remove them by using a fine-mesh sieve.
Take a pot, fill it with water, and bring it to simmer. Pour a bit of vinegar and then pour the eggs into the water. Cook for about three to four minutes and remove from water. Your poached eggs are ready for serving.
Make the hollandaise sauce
The Hollandaise sauce is easier to make than you think. First, you need to melt the butter. Then, mix egg yolks, dijon, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Pour the mixture into the butter and that is it. It is best to serve it fresh. But you can make it a day ahead and keep it in the fridge. There are also different variations of the sauce.
Make the English muffins
You can buy English muffins and use them to make the dish. However, if you prefer making the whole homemade dish, you can make them yourself. You will need:
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 package of active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup of melted shortening
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 cups of all-purpose flour
Instructions: Take a small saucepan and warm the milk. When it starts to bubble, remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until it melts. Leave the milk and sugar to cool down (until it is lukewarm).
In another bowl, mix the dry yeast with warm water and leave it for about 10 minutes (until it becomes creamy). Mix the milk, yeast, shortening, and half the flour. Knead the mixture and then add salt and the remaining half of the flour. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise.
When it rises, punch it down and roll out to a half an inch thick dough. Cut rounds (with glass, empty tuna can, or biscuit cutter). Take the wax paper, cover with cornmeal, place the pieces on it, and sprinkle over the pieces with cornmeal, as well. Let it rise for about 30 minutes.
Take the greased griddle, warm it, and cook rounds on it for about 10 minutes on each side at medium heat. Cut in halves and use for the Eggs Benedict.
Homemade Classic Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce
This Eggs Benedict recipe with homemade sauce is simple and easy. It takes a little over half an hour to make it.
- 4 slices of Canadian bacon
- 2 English muffins
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp Vinegar
For the hollandaise sauce
- 4 tbsp of butter
- 1-2 tbsp of lime juice
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp of heavy whipping cream
Prepare the hollandaise sauce
- Take a saucepan and melt the butter in it.
- Put the egg yolks in the small bowl and beat them.
- Add the lime juice, salt, pepper, and heavy whipping cream to the yolks.
- Slowly, spoon by spoon, add the melted butter to the egg yolk mixture while stirring well. Do this until you use all the butter. Make sure that the butter is liquid but not hot. If it is hot, the eggs might turn into curds or lumps.
- When you mix all, take the mixture and pour it in the saucepan again. Cook for about half a minute at low heat, so that mixture is incorporated.
- Remove from the stove and leave at the side to cool.
Poach the eggs
- Take a medium-size pot and fill with 4 inches of water
- Bring the water to simmer at the lower temperature (small bubbles on the surface, instead of rolling when it boils)
- When it simmers, add a tbsp of vinegar (to prevent the foam from egg whites)
- Crack the egg into a bowl or a cup and slide it into the simmering water
- Cook for about three to four minutes
- Take a slotted spoon and remove the egg
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining three eggs
Warm the bacon
While the eggs are cooking, you can warm the Canadian bacon slices. Take a large pan, place the bacon slices in the pan. Cook for about a minute on each side at medium heat. Take off the stove.
Put together the whole meal
- Cut the English muffins on half
- Toast the muffins
- Put them on the plates
- Cover with the Canadian bacon first, then with the poached eggs
- Pour the hollandaise sauce all over it
- And voilà!