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Perfect Egg In A Well

Now you may have never heard of an egg in a well because your family calls it something else. There are so many Different names for this simple dish that I  can’t remember them all. They are all the same thing, an egg fried in the middle of a piece of bread. It sound simple enough, but people get these very, very wrong. I have learned a few tips over the years that really make them stand out and consistently cook the same way.


1 slice of bread

1 egg




Garlic Powder

To begin, allow the eggs to warm up a bit outside of the fridge. This is a technique restaurants use to get eggs to whip up nice and fluffy or fry up quickly. A good 15 minutes at least but 30 won’t hurt. Yes, this is totally safe on the eggs.

Next choose a pan. This time I did not opt for a nonstick, but you can certainly use one. It cuts down on the butter a little but we are frying here, so you will still need some. The most important thing is use the pan that give consistent heat because eggs need that desperately.

Set the burner to medium.

Use a knife to cut out the middle if the bread. If you make it about the size of the egg while still in the shell it fits perfectly.


I use about 1 Tablespoon per egg. I begin by letting it melt in the pan just enough to cover. Before it all melts, I add the bread making sure the remaining butter stays in the well.



Before all the butter melts I crack the egg into the well. This makes sure the bread doesn’t soak it up and get soggy but stays there to fry the egg. Season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder. Just a sprinkle, no need to measure.


Once you crack the egg into the centered set a timer. The longer you let it cook the more the yolk will cook. I cook the first side longer because that is when the egg white does the majority of the cooking. If you try to do both sides the same amount of time you tend to have underdone egg whites.

If the pan is looking a little dry, once I have the toast on my spatula ready to flip, I add a little more butter to the pan. It melts quickly so I flip and make sure the egg is right on top of the butter. Again, we are frying here.

Looking from the top is a big clue for when to flip the bread.
Looking from the top is a big clue for when to flip the bread.

You can see in the ohoto above that the longer you cook the first side, the more the egg white is cooked. This means the bottom of the yolk is cooking as well. The time difference doesn’t effect how brown the toast gets as much as you think. Yet another reason for the butter in the pan, it gives a nice golden color.


Using a timer takes out the guesswork. A 4 minute time produced a soft and fully cooked yolk.  A 3 minute time is slightly runny. Cut it down to 2 1/2 minutes and you will have a fully runny yolk.  This is how my family likes it, a little runny, just enough to dip that round piece of toast in. I prefer a little less cooked, but it is a thing of beauty and a fast breakfast to make. And dare I say, perfect for the kids to learn to make for themselves? Enjoy!

That one minute made a big difference.
That one minute made a big difference.