Poached Eggs Over Flax Bread

So, as you know, I’ve been eating a lot of eggs. I’ve been cooking them in various ways — scrambled, poached, and even baked into tortilla shells (thanks for the recipe, Ann … next Friday I’ll post my results) — and I’m starting to notice a pattern: Eggs need to be coddled. Pardon the pun, but what I mean is that eggs, prepared in any way, need to be cooked gently — slowly over low heat. And, as I mentioned recently, if you start with really fresh eggs all you need is salt, pepper and a splash of Tabasco.

Now, I haven’t tested my theory on fried eggs, but I will, and I’m guessing this method won’t fail me.

As for the bread you see pictured, I’m still in disbelief that it emerged from the oven looking somewhat like a loaf of bread. Let me explain. I had been reading this book about omega-3 fatty acids and became inspired to make flax-seed bread. I found a recipe on the Internet, but the quantities were given in gram form. Not to worry, I converted the grams to ounces, and then from ounces to cups. ( My digital Salter scale is still in storage.)

I mixed together all the ingredients, kneaded the dough briefly — the recipe told me to do so — and placed the ball in a bowl. Twenty-four hours later, the dough had not budged. I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it away, however, so I dissolved another packet of yeast in some water, let it bloom and then mixed it with some white flour. I broke the flax-seed rock into my new flour-water-yeast mixture and began kneading. After 10 minutes, I placed the dough in a bowl to rise, I hoped, once again.

Twenty-four hours later, the dough had made a little bit of progress, so I threw it in the oven before it could collapse on me. The results, well, let’s just say, were better than I had expected? Made mostly with whole wheat flour and loaded with flax seeds, this bread tastes a little nutty and very wholesome.

Yesterday afternoon, while we celebrated my uncle Jerry’s birthday, Aunt Vicki sliced up some of this bread, toasted it up and served it with butter and orange marmalade. It actually made a nice little snack. And cousin Jay, after slicing the bread very thinly, made a tasty looking avocado and turkey sandwich. The flax bread, although having the effect of feeling “like a steel glove in the stomach,” as uncle Jerry noted, was a hit.

Perfect Poached Eggs

eggs, however many you want
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a small, shallow saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add a capful of vinegar. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a ramekin or small vessel. Reduce the heat of the pot to just a simmer — seriously, the water should hardly be moving. Using the end of a wooden spoon, swirl the water to create a mini whirlpool. Gently drop the egg into the center of this whirlpool.  Turn up the heat to maintain that very gentle simmer, then add another egg in the same manner to the pan.

2. To test for doneness, remove one of the eggs with a slotted spoon. Gently press the yolk with your finger. If it feels too soft, return egg to water. Cook for a total of about 3 minutes or less. Remove with a slotted spoon and gently dab the top with a paper towel — I lay a paper towel over the egg briefly to absorb the excess water. Serve the eggs over toast. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco, if desired.


  1. RecipeGirl says

    I’m loving your posts on healthy dishes. You’re a good role model for me :)

    Those egg pics look so luscious!!

  2. tom | tall clover farm says

    I completely agree on the slow cooking of eggs, but I think the vinegar thing is a cooking myth. I find it toughens the eggs. It’s one of those things every chef says to do but I find it makes a tough casing around the egg. Cook it slowly and you don’t have to add it to the water. It’s like they always says remove the white pith around an orange as it’s bitter. Try it and you’ll find nope, not bitter; it’s just something every cooks says to do by habit. Nice blog, thank you!

  3. alexandra's kitchen says

    Hi Tom,

    I think you are probably right, and next time I make poached eggs, I am going to omit the vinegar. I’m not sure why I haven’t tried that yet!? I guess it’s habit, just as you say. I am looking forward to reading your blog!

  4. wyngrrrl says

    I have poached eggs almost every morning and the the pods make the whole process so much easier…there is nothing better than a poached egg on rye bread with a touch of Dijon Mustard. Unless it’s early fall and I can can put a layer of sauteed spinach and grilled tomatoes inbetween. Love hte Bog!

  5. says

    Hi Diane,
    No, the egg does not go into the water with the ramekin. Gently slide the egg out of the ramekin into the water — it’s just a transition vessel. Hope that helps!

  6. Gregor says

    Fried eggs tend to be very firm and rubbery when done on a low heat, not sure on the science there. One of the first things I ever wanted to really make well, so I discovered that med-high is best, you don’t want the whites to bubble up (too hot), but you do not want the transparent white to hang around (too cool) waiting for inspiration either!
    I also prefer olive oil, fresh eggs are rich enough, and the butter should be on the toast! Yum.
    Oh and flipping them for over-easy is an art, too bad the Japanese haven’t made a ceremony out of that, it ain’t easy.

  7. Jen says

    My mother always browned butter and put a teaspoonful on top of each egg before she served them. Wonderful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *