The origins of eggy bread are unknown. It's a recipe that has been passed down the generations. You can use whichever type of sliced bread you happen to have in your bread bin or, alternatively, slice uncut bread.
Eggy bread is made from two of the most common and versatile ingredients found in almost all kitchens. Even most students' kitchens will have a few slices of bread. It's an ideal way to use up stale bread and an egg or two in their fridge, among the cans of lager and cider.
Scouts - and to a lesser extent, Guides - and other youth organisations have a long tradition of cooking eggy bread when camping. It has now developed into something a bit tastier. It is reasonable to assume that at some time a Scout decided to experiment by dipping his sandwiches into the mixed eggs and frying them; other Scouts copied him. By trial and error they discovered that cheese and ham sandwiches cooked and tasted best when fried in the egg mixture. These are now regularly on a Scout's camping menu.
Eggy Bread Variations
The recipe below is for basic eggy bread. However, there are numerous variations, including gypsy toast and the German equivalent, Arme Ritter, which have milk and seasoning added to the beaten eggs. In the US, they serve eggy bread sweet with powdered sugar (icing sugar) or maple syrup and call it 'French toast', or 'Texas toast' when made with very thick-sliced bread. Other UK variations include the use of brown sugar and honey or butter and marmalade, or just maple syrup.
- A shallow bowl for mixing egg(s)
- A non-stick frying pan
- Bread board
- Egg whisk
This will depend on how many slices of eggy bread you intend to make. As a rough guide, one European medium-size egg1 will make two slices or eight quarters of eggy bread when using standard sliced bread.
- 1 medium egg
- 2 slices of bread
- Oil for cooking
Milk is commonly added to the egg(s) before beating them. The amount of milk would depend on the number of eggs being used. As a rough guide, you should increase the egg mixture by around a quarter when adding the milk, which with one egg would be a small amount.
Using the egg whisk or fork, beat the egg(s) until the yolk and white (and milk if using) are thoroughly mixed together.
Cut the bread into quarters.
Heat the oil in the frying pan. The oil should cover the surface of the frying pan. Using the fork or whisk, drop a few drips of the beaten egg into the middle of the frying pan. When that starts to fry, you know it's hot enough.
Using the fork, or holding the corner with your finger and thumb, pick up one of the quarters of bread and place it in the beaten egg. If necessary, turn it over so it is coated in the egg.
Place the egg-covered quarter-slice of bread in the frying pan. Repeat with other quarters of bread, depending on how many will fit in your frying pan.
Each quarter will need turning after a couple of minutes. Using the fork, turn the quarters that have browned.
When both sides are nicely browned, remove from frying pan and allow to cool for a minute or two.
You may need to add extra oil in between batches, if the eggy bread soaks up the oil. There should be enough oil to fry the eggy bread, but not enough for it to be swimming in it. This may take some trial and error to perfect.
Eat while still hot and enjoy!