THE PERFECT EGG AND BACON ROLL.
It’s a thing of beauty and a joy for the 8 minutes it takes to eat. But certain protocols must be in place before you can achieve egg and bacon roll nirvana.
Bacon and eggs that you can hold in your hands, squished together in a roll. You can’t get much better than that. But the egg has to be JUST RIGHT, the bacon crisp and salty, the roll protective but not clingy, the timing spot-on, the temperature on point.
In an effort to recapture the magic of our greatly missed cafes over lockdown/lockup, I’ve perfected my egg and bacon roll game, and can now roll one out to my liking in the time it takes to crack a beer. That’s to MY liking and not necessarily yours, of course, but you should read my tips anyway.
# Think of the number of rashers of bacon you want, and then double it. Egg and bacon rolls eat up bacon – it goes in there and just disappears. To get any chance of actually tasting bacon, you need three rashers per person. I know I don’t have to say this, but make it great bacon, from happy pigs. I like Bok’s from Tasmania, Uncle’s from Melbourne, Pialligo Estate from Canberra and Pino’s Dolce Vita from Sydney.
# Drilling down on that bacon: if you like meaty bacon that’s like eating warm ham, use the full rasher including the eye. Fry it to your liking, then transfer to a tray in the oven while you do the egg. If you like CRISP bacon, use only the tails of streaky bacon (save the boring eyes to chop into stews) and crisp them in the pan until you’re ready to go. If you like really, really crisp bacon, use pancetta instead.
# Your egg-frying technique is crucial. You want set whites, and a slow, golden ooze, not streams of red sauce and yellow yolk issuing forth every time you pick it up. It’s an E & B roll, not an A & E roll (Accident & Emergency).
# Or consider scrambling the eggs, keeping them soft and buttery. This is particularly useful if you have to eat and run, or eat and drive, as there is no chance of drippy egg yolk.
# Most types of buns/ rolls are good, as long as they aren’t too thick. You don’t want two inches of bread either side of the good stuff. Potato rolls are great, sourdough rolls are great; soft damper rolls, round Turkish bread rolls, Italian panini, all good. Brioche can be good if it isn’t too soft and pappy. I favour an English muffin because I like structure in my life. It keeps everything contained and doesn’t interfere, adding only the pleasing, almost bran-like taste of its own. This Is Us make great sourdough muffins, but the supermarket variety is fine.
# It’s important to toast or grill the inside of the roll, as you would for a burger – it lightens the bread and gives it a crisp edge.
#By all means, add extra things to it - just be aware that it is no longer an egg and bacon roll, it has become something else. Some thoughts: avocado, tomato, Swiss cheese, haloumi, baked beans. Bread and butter pickles or jalapeno pickles. I love the crunch of lettuce in mine – iceberg or cos - shredded and packed in tight.
# The sauce: Tomato sauce, smoky barbecue sauce, chilli sauce, chive aioli, chutney, tarragon hollandaise, whatever suits.
THE PERFECT EGG AND BACON ROLL
2 English muffins
6 rashers streaky bacon from happy pigs
2 large eggs from happy chooks
Butter or mayo for spreading
1 baby cos lettuce, finely shredded
Tomato sauce or your choice of sauce
Warm the plates. Fry the bacon in a non-stick pan ( no oil) until crisp.
Split the muffins, lightly brush inside with olive oil, and either toast, or grill under an overhead grill, until just scorched.
Oil the insides of two large egg rings and place in an oiled non-stick pan. Crack an egg into each one and fry over medium heat until the bottom is set. Covering the pan with a lid will help cook the top, setting the whites and leaving the yolk a bit runny.
Run a knife between egg and ring and remove the rings with a pair of tongs. What I do is flip the egg gently and cook for 20 seconds on the other side, without breaking it or over-cooking the yolk.
Arrange warm muffin halves on warm plates. Spread each one with butter or mayo and pile lettuce on top of the two base halves. Place bacon on top with tongs, then slide the egg on top and season with sea salt and black pepper.
Add the sauce - either onto the egg or on the inside of the top half of the bun, and press gently so it all sticks together. Serves two.
You want more?
Head out – when you can – for someone else’s egg and bacon roll, and support a local café. In Sydney, I’ve had great ones at Matinee Coffee in Marrickville, the Lookout in Elizabeth Bay, and Karoo & Co in Wahroonga, and in Melbourne, I favour Bowery To Williamsburg and Liminal. New on the scene: the breakfast bagel, as seen at Shmucks Bagels in Melbourne, and Barrel One Coffee Roasters in Manly; worth a try.
Or jump in the car – when you can. Terry Durack makes a fair case for the egg and bacon roll taking over from the meat pie as the highlight of the great Australian foodie road trip.
Check out Opus Coffee Brewers in Wollongong for a great e & b roll, and even better scrambled eggs; Fawk Foods Kitchen & Bakery in Pokolbin for a big two-hander; the Cupping Room in Canberra, Grit Café in Goulburn, Milkwood Bakery in Berry and Caffe Rosso in Bowral.
For more, check out Flavour Quest on Instagram for rolling reviews of egg and bacon rolls. (“No flavour? No mercy”).
If you have any good tips or techniques of your own, an excellent bacon to recommend or a great little cafe for an E & B roll, let us know in the comments. If you don’t leave a comment, I will assume that you completely agree that my version is perfect.
Thanks for reading! And liking, commenting, subscribing, or sharing. Special thanks to my right-hand man, Terry Durack, for being my right hand while mine is mending ( it’s my first day out of the Robocop hand splint and healing well, so it won’t be long now until I can eat an egg and bacon roll with both hands instead of just one).
I would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands and waters upon which I work, live, cook and play; the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. I fully support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice to be enshrined in Australia’s Constitution.