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Emily Roux's Egg-In-The-Hole with Smoked Salmon and Hollandaise Sauce

Be as extravagant or inventive as you wish with this recipe. Add chilli or garlic flakes to the hollandaise sauce; swap the smoked salmon for crispy bacon or ham (later in the week, try turkey breast), or push the boat out and give everybody a dainty dollop of caviar. As it's Christmas, you might like to customise each 'hole' to suit different members of the family.

Emily Roux's Egg-In-The-Hole with Smoked Salmon and Hollandaise Sauce

I look forward to breakfast on Christmas morning with almost as much anticipation as I do gifts under the tree. A satisfying breakfast, a little out of the ordinary but not a chore to prepare, spreads good cheer and sets the mood for the rest of the day. Up bright and early, my father is usually on duty; he likes to serve scrambled eggs and bacon (not to be sniffed at), but if you're looking for an element of surprise, this hassle-free recipe will please all the family and keep them going until lunchtime.

About this recipe

Preparation Time 25 Minutes
Cooking Time 20 Minutes
Serves 4 People
Emily Roux's Egg-In-The-Hole with Smoked Salmon and Hollandaise Sauce Emily Roux's Egg-In-The-Hole with Smoked Salmon and Hollandaise Sauce


  • 1 ciabatta (ideally, a ready to bake loaf)
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 4 slices of smoked salmon

To prepare the pickled onions:

  • 2 medium sized red onions
  • 200ml water
  • 200ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp of fine salt
  • a pinch of mustard seeds
  • 2 black peppercorns, crushed
  • salt and pepper

To prepare the hollandaise:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100g of melted butter
  • 1/2 a bunch of chives
  • zest of half a lemon



A note on the pickled onions: These delicious pickled onions are simple to make and always useful to have on hand, particularly over Christmas, to perk up cold meats and leftovers. They can be prepared at short notice or several weeks in advance; once opened, they will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. Make them now in time for Christmas.


A note on the hollandaise sauce: The one technical difficulty you may encounter is the hollandaise sauce splitting. This happens when the egg yolks get too hot and start to cook (scramble). To avert disaster, keep a couple of ice cubes within reach to save the sauce if need be. If the yolks do begin to scramble, remove the bowl from the heat immediately and whisk in an ice cube: your hollandaise sauce will be unharmed.


To prepare the pickled onions: Peel and finely slice the onions and place in a 0.5 litre preserving jar with the mustard seeds and peppercorns.


In a saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, salt and honey to a rolling boil and then pour over the onions. Seal the jar and leave the onions to pickle and cool to room temperature for at least 1 hour before using.


To prepare the eggs-in-a-hole: Preheat the oven to 180C. Using a small, serrated knife or a cookie cutter make 4 evenly spaced holes in the ciabatta deep enough for each egg to sit comfortably inside. Put the loaf on a baking sheet.


Crack the eggs into their nests and season with salt and pepper. Pop the loaf in the oven and bake until the eggs are set, this will take about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of the eggs).


While the eggs are baking, prepare the hollandaise sauce.


To prepare the hollandaise sauce: Bring a saucepan of water to a gentle simmer to serve as your bain-marie. Place the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice in a mixing bowl large enough to fit over the saucepan of water; using a balloon whisk, whisk until frothy. Now set the bowl over the pan of water and continue whisking. After a couple of minutes, the eggs will begin to change consistency. At this point, start drizzling in the melted butter (whisking continuously). Once all the butter has been incorporated you should have a thick, silky-smooth hollandaise sauce


Season to taste with salt, pepper, chopped chives and lemon zest.


Remove the ciabatta from the oven and divide into individual portions. Serve each egg-in-a-hole with a generous helping of hollandaise sauce, your chosen accompaniments and, if you like, garnish with pickled onion.

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