Eggs Benedict

This recipe is perfect for Easter Sunday brunch, or any other day of the week for that matter. The flavour of the ham, eggs and buttery lemon notes from the hollandaise complement each other perfectly making this an absolute classic to impress your friends and family.

The ingredients for the muffins below make 12 portions. I always make 12 as the extra ones can be frozen or kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It also makes use of the full sachet of yeast so there is no waste. The hollandaise quantities for the recipe below should be enough for around 6 portions.

eggs benedict

eggs benedict

Eggs (1 per person)
Parma ham (1-2 slices per person)

For the English Muffins
675g strong white flour
2 tsp caster sugar
7g sachet fast-action yeast
2tsp salt
450ml tepid milk

For the hollandaise

1tbsp white wine vinegar
1tsp white pepper
4 egg yolks
250g butter
Juice of 1 lemon

For the muffins:
Put the flour, sugar yeast and salt into a large bowl. Pour in the milk mixing the ingredients to form a dough. Using your hands or a dough hook knead the dough until smooth and elastic
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1 cm. cut the dough into rounds using a 3 inch plain cutter. Place on a floured baking tray once cut. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
Heat a frying pan with a little oil over a low heat and cook the muffins for about 7 mins on each side.
For the hollandaise:
First of all you need to clarify the butter. To do this melt the butter over a very gentle heat and bring slowly to the boil skimming off the froth from the surface. This will cause the butter to separate into solids and liquid. Now pour the liquid butter into a bowl straining the milky solids. The clarified butter should be the colour of light olive oil. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, therefore can be made in advance.
In a pan over a medium heat mix the vinegar, pepper and 4 tablespoons cold water. Reduce by 1 third then leave to cool completely. Add the egg yolks to the cold reduction and whisk.
Put the pan back on a low heat and whisk for 8-10 mins until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.
Take off the heat and continue to whisk as you slowly add the tepid clarified butter in a steady stream. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
For the poached eggs
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt. The vinegar will help to set the egg white faster. I prefer to crack my egg into a bowl to make sure it can be dropped into the water in one smooth, quick action. Cook for around 2 mins for a runny yolk.
To assemble
Place a muffin in the centre of a warm plate and top with parma ham. Finally add your poached egg on top with a helping of the hollandaise sauce.

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