Eggs Benedict: a great way to start the morning after. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

This eggs Benedict post has new recipes for Hollandaise sauce and sourdough English muffins but I have to begin with the angry comment on my Tomato Sauce post. A reader was clearly miffed that I would suggest that anyone who works make their own tomato sauce. Well, I do suggest this, but I hasten to add that it’s not homemade or nothing. I’ve bought jarred tomato sauce when I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it myself. It’s more expensive, doesn’t taste as good and isn’t as much fun, but there are only so many hours in the day, and someday there’s just no time.

My second response to Angry Reader is that he should do this: Make Eggs Benedict From Scratch! Yea, verily! And so should you, because the whole impact from flavor to the experience is supreme.  Especially you Charcutepaloozians!  From scratch means: cure your own Canadian bacon, make your own English muffins, whip up a French Hollandaise, and poach an American egg for a multinational Sunday breakfast of your own creation.  Extra points if you raise the pig and the chicken! (Especially the pig because, where this meal is concerned, while the chicken makes a contribution, the pig is committed.) I’m not going to suggest you raise the cow and make your own butter for the Hollandaise, but if that’s an option, by all means!

This From Scratch Challenge is actually deceptively easy and would be a great thing to do if you were having folks over for brunch.  Canadian bacon will keep for two or three weeks in the fridge if it’s been properly prepared and will wrapped, so that’s done way in advance.  You can make the English muffins the day ahead; I think they’re actually better this way, they toast up very nicely.  So all you have to do at meal time is poach the eggs, which will be especially appealing if you use the Bad Ass Perforated Egg Spoon, and make the Hollandaise.  My friend Marlene offers her lickety-split blender version (it’s fast and fabulous).  Another friend has perfected the sourdough English Muffin; the sourdough gives the bread great flavor.  See the below posts for any info on the various components.  I’ve written about it before.

I love love love eggs Benedict, it’s a perfect dish, rich, satisfying, nutritious. And I know for a fact there is no better meal on a Sunday morning when the head is a bit thick and the stomach a bit delicate from the previous night’s revelry.

I’ve set up a Flickr account where people can post shots of their own eggs B. from scratch: (I’ll start posting pix here too if I can figure out how; I’m a flickr newbie).

Eggs Benedict Defined @ Wikipedia

How To Poach Eggs

How To Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

How Make Canadian Bacon

How To Make English Muffins

How To Make a Traditional Hollandaise

How To Make Your Own Butter

How To Make Cultured Butter

And one last update, in response to questions, this is the stovetop smoker I used to smoke the loin.

Blender Hollandaise

from Marlene of CooksKorner

  • 3 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups of butter, unsalted
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • pinch of cayenne
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Place the eggs, lemon juice, cayenne and mustard in a blender. Blend for a minute until nicely combined.
  3. Pour the butter through the hole in the top of the lid of the blender, SLOWLY, with the blender at high speed. This should take about 10-15 seconds to blend and thicken. You will hear the change as it thickens. Trust me, you’ll know.

Makes about a cup

Sourdough English Muffins

Recipe from Skip Kennon

  • 1 cup well developed 1:1 sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Corn meal for dusting
  1. Take one cup of your sourdough starter (don’t forget to refresh your basic starter after doing this.) and put it in a non-reactive mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the milk.
  3. In another bowl combine flour, sugar salt with a whisk.
  4. Mix the flour mixture in with the starter-milk mixture. Don’t mix long. It’s okay if there are lumps. They will work themselves out like pancake batter does when cooking.
  5. Cover the muffin batter with plastic wrap and leave out on the counter six hours or overnight.
  6. Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet on medium-low for several minutes. Butter or spray with Pam or oil the inside of your muffin rings if you’re using them (the dough batter is thick enough to make free form muffins).
  7. Mix water with baking soda, dissolve and mix into the batter. Just enough to combine.
  8. Dust the griddle or skillet with corn meal. Put rings on griddle or on skillet if using and put 1/4 to 1/3 cup for each muffin onto the griddle.
  9. Cook 4 to 5 minutes each side or until cooked through. You can remove the rings a minute or so after you’ve turned the muffins over. If you have a needle thermometer, test after 3 minutes on the 2nd side of cooking. You want to get 205 degrees F./96 degrees C. Another option is to finish them in a 350 degree oven, in which case you don’t need to flip them.
  10. Remove the muffins and cool standing on their sides. The sideways cooling reduces their flattening and keeps them airier inside.

Makes 10 to 12 muffins.

If you liked this post on eggs benedict, check out these other posts:

  • The first From Scratch Challenge: BLT
  • Leela of She Simmers shares a fascinating story of a man learning to cook eggs benedict with a chef (some of my posts are referenced here, but check out cool B&W photo with color egg).
  • Badass Perforated Spoon is the best tool around to poach eggs
  • Read about the history of eggs benedict  from the NYT article “Was He the Eggman?”

© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


77 Wonderful responses to “Eggs Benedict From Scratch”

  • ruhlman

    thanks to donna. actually, i should have taken time to smooth out that hollandaise with a few drops of water. Looks like it’s on the verge of curdling, though it never did. Flavor was fantastic.

    • Mark Swain

      It’s a great picture but I agree a smooth silky hollandaise would have looked much better. At the same time I think eggs-b tend to be slopped in the stuff. Why not go the other direction and use some agar agar to make a sheet of hollandaise.

  • cherylk

    I have a Bad-Ass Perforated Egg Spoon and I didn’t even know that’s what it is! I use it all the time but haven’t ever used it for poached eggs. I will now. And I’m hungry for eggs benedict so…

  • Three-Cookies

    Looks delicious but I wonder about the nutritious aspect considering the amount of butter. On the other hand saturated fat in butter could be considered healthy.

    The angry comment – home made dishes can actually be quicker if we consider total actual time spent cooking. For most dishes like tomato sauce we don’t have to stand in front of the stove the whole time. Its a question of time management. For me making my own lunch is much faster than travelling to a fast food restaurant like McD’s if I calculate total travel and waiting time .

  • Zalbar

    Uhm, that stuff in the pic on top of the egg… is that supposed to be hollandaise?!? If so that’s the weirdest looking hollandaise I’ve ever seen. Mine normally turns out quite creamy and less…congealed?

    Also, what’s the greens on the plate? I can’t quite identify them.

    • ruhlman

      I’m afraid so. The texture is a little off. I should have whipped in a little water to smooth it out. You’re right to call attention to it!

  • Victoria

    Eggs Benedict is my Christmas morning breakfast. It’s better than opening presents. i use Nigel Slater’s recipe for Hollandaise, which has similar – but not exactly the same – ingredients. 3 yolks, a full cup of butter, juice of half a lemon, and salt. I’ve never had it curdle, and, thanks to your suggestion of a Thermos, now it doesn’t lose any heat while I’m putting everything together. I’ll have to give the blender method a whirl.

    One year we raised two pigs, Thelma and Louise. The meat was delicious, but the person who was curing the hams absconded with them. If we do it again, I will cure my own!

    • arod

      Our Christmas morning breakfast as well – we sub smoked salmon for the ham and add Mimosas … a real treat!

  • Marlene

    You can add a T of hot water to the blender if you think it’s going to curdle. I never have and it’s never curdled on me.

    I love this recipe because it takes about 15 seconds to make which means I can make it right at the last minute when everything else is on the table.

  • Mary-Alice

    We make eggs benedict during asparagus season. Having roasted asparagus along side the eggs benedict makes it super special. I also like to replace the english muffins with puff pastry shells. Very, very good!

  • melissa

    egg-cellent! I have done all of this but the canadian bacon so I am looking forward to the challenge. 🙂

  • Debi

    I love that the sauce is gluten-free! A lot of places make it with flour to thicken it making it impossible to have Eggs Benedict at breakfast/brunch outing even without the English muffin.

  • Bubba Durand

    I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I made the Canadian bacon from your book last week! I already make my own hollandaise and sourdough English muffins, all I have to do is bring them all together… Maybe next weekend.

  • Terri

    This is my favorite breakfast of all time! I’ve yet to make English muffins from scratch, but I suppose I will have to give it try.

  • Heather

    So, Angry Commenter doesn’t have time to make sauce, but has time to not only read blogs but comment on them too? O_o

  • cloudydeb

    I work full time while my husband works double that running our 2 businesses. I still cook from scratch pretty much every day. It just takes a little dedication and a lot of planning.

  • Dana N.

    A little dab of canned chipotle in the sauce is a fabulous twist.

  • DiggingDogFarm

    So, Angry Commenter doesn’t have time to make sauce, but has time to not only read blogs but comment on them too? O_o

    I thought the exact same thing! LOL

    • Katie

      A year and a half ago, while working an average of 60 hours a week and having other commitments, I still managed to make and can so much tomato sauce (and stewed tomatos) that I’m just now finishing it up. I definitely make a lot of concessions to convenience food, but this one mattered to me. I hate when people confuse ‘I don’t have time’ with ‘I don’t want to make time.’

  • Warren Hampton

    I love eggs benedict! I have also used pulled pork I have made instead of the pea bacon, if you have not tried it you should. It is very good.

    I don’t understand the angry commentor about the sauce. About once a month I make a big batch on a Saturday or Sunday. Portion and Freeze and enjoy sauce all month. By happenstance we ended up having jarred sauce last night, I ran out of the real stuff, for my palate it was too sweet, and if possible to salty and it did not coat the pasta well. Fresh, there is no substitute. Keep up with the scratch challenges!

  • Judith

    Here in Tucson we have a place that makes “Not So Benedict”…english muffin, slice of tomato, slice of avocado, poached egg, hollandaise sauce and topped with some prickly pear syrup…deeelish!!

  • Liz S

    I love this post and the comments about “no time to cook.” @cloudydeb is right. It’s about dedication. I work long hours but I love to cook so it’s a priority. And while I don’t beat myself up if I need to occasionally use canned or jarred products, from scratch sauces, stocks, breads, etc., are so much better.

  • Dean

    I love the whole concept of making this from scratch. While I don’t eat ham, using this approach to make Eggs Florentine would be equally yummy.

    And don’t worry too much about the vitriolic poster to the tomato sauce thread. My reactions to his post were, if he has the the time to be so bilious, he has time to make the sauce sometime and freeze it for when he needs it; and, if he never has the time to make tomato sauce what’s he doing spending time perusing a site that features homemade food?

    • stacy

      um, frankly a lot of people just read some of these blogs/ comments for the sheer hilarity of the earnestness of the suggestions and fawning adoration of the commenters (really a lot.. just like people watch certain food network shows for the unintentional hilarity which then occasionally verges into irritation)

      • Mantonat

        What are you having for dinner, Stacy? Have you ever had the deep erotic charge associated with having a man feed you something he made entirely from the effort of his own labor? I’ve found that people who are passionate about food and cooking have passion and attention to pleasure in other areas too. They are usually the exact opposite of people who feel the need to ridicule the passions of others.

        • stacy

          and yet i find it so much more attractive when they have a successful careet that they work at and they work out afterwards so that they’re in great shape and we spend our dates out doing something interesting…. yes, we cook occasionally but if either of us have a jar of sauce on the counter, the other isn’t horrified….

  • Martha

    This looks like a definite weekend project for me!

    Your post took me back to the tomato sauce recipe, which I’ve now printed. Question on that – how long will the sauce keep?

  • kate

    angry angry angry! no, just kidding. i don’t get why people get so angry when you suggest they take the time to prepare and serve food from scratch. inspired by your ‘how to roast a chicken,’ post, i wrote about how spice mixes were offensive (i’m talking single meal spices mixes from mccormick), and someone got so angry about it! like, how dare you suggest i go to the bulk spice section when i have screaming kids in tow?? um, wow. so you choose how you spend your time, and if providing meals from whole, healthy ingredients isn’t your priority, than i can’t help you.

  • Carrie

    My friends laugh at me because I like to make so many things from scratch. The bacon was out-of-this world delicious and took almost no time – except on Saturday when it cooked. So I enjoyed a chuckle chewing on deliciousness!

  • Sherry Bellamy

    From scratch? Did you actually grow and thresh and mill the wheat for the muffins? I think not. Dilettante alert!!

    But seriously, looks yum, despite the slightly *intense* hollandaise:)

    • Digging Dog Farm

      Yes, reaped with an Austrian scythe, threshed with a peddle thresher, winnowed with a hand crank fanning mill and ground with a hand crank stone mill. Unfortunately, do to recent diet restrictions I can’t eat a lot of starch anymore. Boo Hoo!!! : (

  • Digging Dog Farm

    By the way…..I make butter while I’m milking cows (there’s a lot of idle time between changing the milkers). I fill a jar with cream and agitate it back and forth between milker changes. Multi-tasking at it’s tastiest! LOL

  • Jacqueline

    Per angry poster, i work 40 hrs a week and make the time on the weekends to bake bread, pasta, ravioli, bologanse from scratch. And even Eggs B. I love the short cut of the blender hollandaise. Many people look down on that too, but if it is good enough for Julia, it’s certainly good enough for me. I’ve been wanting to try my own english muffins and this may be the weekend to do it! thanks for the inspiration! Oh and out here in Seattle, we love dungeness crab on our eggs b.

    • reddy

      well, for other people, after working, going to the gym, volunteering, having to do more work in the evening, socializing at music/arts venues etc outside the home are all priorities which i think confirms that this is not a blog for people under 40 with lives full of social/physical activity. yes, i’m sure one or two of you will reply to say something contradictory.

      • stacy

        agreed! there are lots of other great blogs that still give you great tips for cooking for one or two (and not in a gross rachael ray sort of way) that don’t go to this extent of deriding jarred tomato sauce or having contests about growing every part of your blt. This is definitely geared toward a specific age/lifestyle

      • Mantonat

        To your stereotype of the typical Ruhlman reader, I will respond with a stereotype of my own: you just don’t like cooking. You know the saying “if you want to get something done, aske the busiest person you know”? I don’t understand how people can look at their lives and see so much comotion and frenzy that they don’t have time to slow down and enjoy making and eating something from scratch.
        There’s nothing time consuming about any of the ingredients in scratch-made eggs benedict. Canadian bacon sits as it cures – you don’t need to pull up a camp chair and watch it the entire time. Actually prepping it to cure is no harder than making Shake n Bake chicken. Hollandaise sauce takes literally minutes, as do poached eggs. Most of the time involved with making English muffins is in waiting for the dough to rise. While that’s happening, you can be out socializing at music/arts events.
        Most of the commenters who complain that they don’t have time for stuff like this make long lists of things they multi-task at, but they can’t envision multi-tasking when it comes to food. So what it must come down to is priorities. I enjoy doing things with food. I don’t enjoy bringing home work (so I don’t), I don’t enjoy making endless to-do lists of things that will never get done (so I don’t), I don’t enjoy working out on a machine in a gym full of sweaty elliptical machine addicts who run in place like hamsters in a cage (so I don’t). I get my exercise while doing things that I enjoy, like walking my dogs, golfing, hiking, gardening.
        I’m not a retiree with too much time on my hands. I’m not a harried soccer mom with out-of-control kids who haven’t learned how to help out in the kitchen or sit down to a good meal with family for an hour. I just happen to like cooking, so I spend time doing it. If you don’t find pleasure in making sauce, by all means keep buying the jarred stuff. Just don’t come to a website that is all about passion for cooking and caring about food and suggest that the readers have their priorities wrong.

        • mark

          oh please neither ” walking, golfing, or gardening” is actual cardiovascular exercise. i think this is actually confirming the previous posts…

          • Mantonat

            Maybe not the way you do it. Try two hours of running a rototiller through compacted soil while shoveling in a couple cubic yards of manure. I guess the word “gardening” isn’t as manly as “working out.” Maybe I should say “yard work” instead. Or maybe walking 3 dogs for an hour after work. Beats driving to a gym, sitting in a pool of someone else’s sweat, and then driving home with a stop at the Wendy’s drivethrough because I’m too short on time to cook something at home. I’m also a big fan of the Happy Gilmore golf swing. Way more exercise than the traditional swing.
            The real point here is not who gets more exercise or who cooks better food, it’s the fact that Ruhlman provides valuable information in his books and blog for people who are interested in learning stuff in the kitchen – stuff that maybe will make for a better lifestyle because it brings family together, teaches about healthy food, and advocates slowing down a little to appreciate what we have in life. And yet, there are people who stop by to belittle his effort and those who appreciate it. It’s just far easier to make fun of something and dismiss it than to attempt to understand and learn.

  • holly

    Well this is just plain eerie! I’m a ‘paloozer and look what I posted yesterday!
    I just wish I had Donna to take my pics 🙂 That’s my weak spot.
    Angry poster needs to take a chill pill. I work full time, garden, put up lots of food and cook from scratch most nights. Of course that’s not to say I don’t plan ahead so there’s leftovers. Now, thanks to Charcutepalooza I’m doing even more and having a ball. What’s not to love about having hog jowls hanging in your basement drying while some feta’s hanging from a kitchen cabinet draining! It’s all in where your priorities lie.

  • jsmeeker

    How practical is a hollandaise for one? If I make on Saturday morning, can I keep leftovers until Sunday morning? Can I keep it to Saturday night to server on top of asparagus? If I can, how to heat it back up? If the emulsion is stable when warm, will the fridge break it?

    • ruhlman

      Completely practical. Do one yolk and 3 ounces of butter and two tsp or lemon juice. Left overs can actually be used as is in scrambled eggs, or melt in microwave and re-emulsify with a whisk into two teaspoons of water.

  • frans vandepas

    Michael it is so easy in the Thermomix it takes about 5min.

  • Cecelia Heer

    I’ve made EB with poached lobster meat in lieu of the bacon. Only for special occasions, that is. I like the comment about the caviar. That works.

  • Richard

    I did a riff on Eggs Benedict last summer for my father in law, and I did most of it using Ratio. Instead of the english muffin, I used the flaky Chicago biscuit recipe, and I made the “this is how they teach it at the CIA” citrus hollandaise, both from Ratio. I swapped out the canadian bacon for prosciutto -wrapped lobster tail. Top everything off with some snipped chives and a little espelette, and you might just have the most decadent “Eggs Benedict” you’ve ever had.

  • E. Nassar

    So timely! This past Saturday we had eggs benedict from scratch and I hope to blog and post pictures about it soon:

    – Peter Reinhart’s recipe for the muffins. I’ll have to try your sourdough one next time.
    – Ruhlman’s recipe for peameal bacon, BUT I used a wild texas boar loin instead of pork. wild bor is a pest in my neck of the woods and I have a ton of meat from that game. This was delicious.
    – Ruhlman’s Ratio hollandaise (using one egg and Banyuls vinegar)
    – Some frou-frou touches like a dehydrated mable-vinegar meringue and a sprinkling of truffle salt.

    That was some fantastic breakfast.

    So a reader was angry about homemade tomato sauce???!! WTF. it needs like 3 ingredients and can be done in no time. I made a batch last night while packing to go out of town.

  • Dave_C

    Your Eggs Benedict looks delicious.
    Seems like your blender Hollandaise turned out more mayonnaise-y than saucey, which seems to be a common occurrence when I use the blender.

    • ruhlman

      I believe all hot emulsified butter sauces such as Hollandaise and Bearnaise are to be mayo consistency, thinned if you wish depending how you want. this one was that thick, on the verge of curdlation, though it is.

  • HankShaw

    Weird comment on the tomato sauce. Most don’t take any time at all! I’ve been making tomato sauces of various forms for 30 years, and can make a puttanesca in less than 10 minutes — that was my staple when I was working 70 hours a week as a political reporter.

    Something about politics and harlots seemed to just fit together. 😉

  • Chef philip Geneman

    thanks so much another great post I love eggs Benedict and everything tastes so good homemade. Its fun too! once more thanks for this! oh for those comment on tomato sauce to that I would say there is nothing like making you own tomato sauce, it is easy and it can be very fast.

  • TT

    Actually its not a hollandaise, its called sauce Girondine (no mustard in hollandaise).

    • ruhlman

      how interesting. never thought of that. I don’t use a mustard in my hollandaise but know that it’s really helpful for the emulsification. and the flavor of this sauce was PERFECT. (still really bugs me I left the texture like that though, takes 10 secs to fix)

  • Linsey M.

    I am totally surprised at the tomato sauce comment. For goodness sake, I work, I’m a full time chef, wife and mother of 2 very active boys and I have ALWAYS made my own tomato sauce. It’s not rocket science! 99% of the jarred tomato sauces are loaded with preservatives and RED DYE (because tomatoes are not red enough on their own?)
    Hey Michael, I even make my own pasta!! the audacity of me!

  • Warner aka ntsc

    My wife does make her own tomato sauce each fall, and I can it. In a dark cool space it will keep at least two years, but this is pressure canning.

    Pieces of Canadian Bacon, not pre-sliced, will keep in a Food Saver bag a 0F for at least one year, if the bag retains vacuum.

  • JW

    Indeed, the perfect meal after a night which the Southern ladies would refer to as “over served” (never taking blame for anything themselves. Accordingly, the best place I’ve found for eggs Benedict is New Orleans. There are many versions there and I’ve eaten quite a few varieties after being “over served”. One of the best is at Stanley’s on Jackson Square referred to as Breaux Bridge Benedict. The base is toasted french bread topped with cajun boudin and tasso, a perfectly poached egg, and a spicy hollandaise. Nothing better with a few cups of chickory coffee/cafe au lait. Wash the whole thing down with more coffee and beignets across the street at the Cafe Du’Monde.

  • Lissa

    Just a point on the tomato sauce. I make it at home occasionally. I generally make a red sauce which is slightly more involved. I and my spouse spend a lot of time working outside of work and most of the cooking of it is passive. IE, you don’t have to stand around and watch it while it cooks. It is just so easy to do and I can make it the way I LIKE IT. Which means I can have pizza and spaghetti my way.

    That said, I usually make 2 or three really large batches a year and put them up because that is really easy as well though a bit more time consuming. Still it’s worth an hour on a saturday afternoon to put up some tomato sauce that will last your for a couple of months. Making spaghetti, grab a couple of jars. Making pizzas, a single 8 oz jar is enough for 2 small pizzas. And the reason for making the red sauce is that I’ve never found one that tastes the way I want it taste. Especially with regards to pizza.

  • Nathan Schmidt

    Thank you and Skip Kennon for the fabulous sourdough english muffin recipe! I’ve tried others and this was the first that came out tasting like real english muffins. And it was by far the least amount of work to make the batter, too. A total win!

  • Heather Burger

    My husband and I have made your English Muffins and your bacon and they’re great! I noted a few comments on your butter recipe that related to slopping when using the food processor. I have always made my own butter using the paddle attachment and my stand mixer. It takes about 10 minutes, but you don’t have to watch over it every second. When the butter separates from the buttermilk, you will hear it thunk in the bowl. No mess.

  • jbl

    “In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” –Carl Sagan

  • iliana

    Like Mardi, I took the challenge and made eggs Benedict from scratch, and you can see it at my blog (click my name to visit). It was lots of fun, got me one request for a date (!) and impressed my mom: woo!


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