OK, OK…the best egg salad IF you like medium to soft-boiled eggs and Asian hot chile sauce!
So World Bread Day was two days ago. Does it count since I put my post up two days late? Of course not, but for those who participated, please know I was there with you in spirit while this bread sat in a photo program for a week. I actually made this bread for this month’s (October) Twelve Loaves theme, seeds and grains, hosted by Lora of Cake Duchess, Jamie of Life’s a Feast and Barbara of Creative Culinary, but there’s a reason for the that little gem ‘Breaking Bread’; bread and food in general is meant to be shared and enjoyed with, and by all.
I love baking bread, and I loved baking bread even before I knew how to bake bread and would watch in my grandmothers do it. The first time I ever dabbled in yeast was in the second grade. My elementary school set aside one half day each year to teach all second grade classes how to prepare a breakfast from scratch, including the bread for the toast. There was an egg station, a bacon station (that would never go over today; Jamie Oliver would cry), a freshly squeezed orange juice station, and a homemade bread station. Once everyone learned how to make each food/drink at their station, they’d assign new partners, then move us to another station so we got to learn how to make all of the above.
I was first assigned to the bread station. My partner in bread was a tough, little kid named Vinny, with suspicious blue eyes and lightly tousled blonde hair bordering on messy. He liked to beat up other kids for fun, and the exhilaration in his eyes when he stomped on insects was more than disturbing. He also liked to throw rocks at anything that moved, including people. Thankfully, he had terrible aim.
Naturally, I was afraid of him and did NOT want to bake bread with him, but once he started dipping his fingers in the bubbling cake yeast, and rubbing it between his fingers, his normally cold, cagey eyes suddenly sparkling, I decided it was safe. He really took to baking bread from scratch, and kneaded the dough like a little pro. I was in awe.
For the remainder of second grade, the perpetually silent Vinny, in a barely audible, monotone voice, would ask the same question about once a week;
“Are we gonna bake bread today?”
To this day, the smell of yeast reminds me of Vinny. Since we moved from that town the following year, I never saw Vinny again or knew what became of him. However, I’m convinced he’s now a bread baker with his own little bakery, or baking for his fellow inmates via kitchen duty.
Initially I was going to make the third yeast bread I ever baked, which was an Onion Lover’s Twist with poppy and sesame seeds from a Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbook that was given to me at the age of 13. I changed my mind because I wanted a hearty, healthy sandwich bread for a wicked egg salad I’ve made since I was a kid, albeit, minus the wicked part. That came later, when my palate could suddenly tolerate super-duper heat.
I didn’t bake my second yeast bread or any yeast bread from the book until I was 18, and let’s just say it was a little ambitious for a second yeast bread, especially with no teacher or yeast-loving future bread baker and/or psycho mobster, to help. I chose a pizza rustica, loaded with meats and cheeses, the yeast dough lining and covering all the filling in a springform pan. The recipe said it needed to rise in a warm place, so I put it in front of a super hot radiator strip against one of the walls of the den where I was watching TV, occasionally staring at it..willing it to rise.
I was making this yeasted pizza rustica to impress Dreamboat. It had to be perfect.
When I was finally satisfied that it might be starting to rise, I focused my attention on a movie that was on, forgetting about it for the hour it needed.
Well, rise it did, quickly and over the top of the springform pan, knocking off the plastic wrap, oozing down the sides of the pan, and crawling across the floor, dangerously close to an expensive area rug. It was like The Blob, The Blob who hadn’t blobbed in days and was starving for a rug to digest in its gelatinous core.
The proper consistency of the yolk for this egg salad is the soft-medium, circled and arrowed in red. However, I find 6 to 7 minutes gives me that consistency, not 5.5 minutes. Photo courtesy of ieatishotipost.sg since my egg photos had a bluish tint I couldn’t get rid of.
I jumped up to get to it before it hit the rug, tearing off and throwing the dough blobs out, but truthfully, I was more concerned about the pizza rustica loaf turning out. I quickly gathered up the dough crawling down the sides of the pan, some which was already dry from a good 20 minutes exposed to the air, and tried to smush it back on top. I had to do this twice, ripping off so much dough that had hit the floor, that there was barely enough dough to sufficiently cover the top.
After I was satisfied that I might have saved it, I let it rise again for another hour. This time, there was little rise. The radiator strip and my ripping and smushing had annihilated it, but I baked it anyway. Surprisingly, it turned out beautiful.
Not so surprising, Dreamboat almost broke a tooth at first bite. Beauty is only skin deep; the top crust was as hard as a rock. We pulled the cheese and meats out, ate those..and that was that. I’m pretty sure he thought I’d never excel at bread baking. I kind of felt the same way.
Once I learned, the hard way, that there was no need to let bread rise next to a steaming, hot radiator strip, I had much success thereafter.
Having said all that; you all know I’ve been pinning food like a maniac, right? Naturally, you pin recipes because you want to try them and/or it makes your creative juices bubble like hydrogen peroxide on a brand new boo-boo. So, I follow Red Star Yeast, and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve repinned their breads, both sweet and savory, and sandwich pins. When I came across a pin for their Oatmeal Walnut bread, I had to try it. I couldn’t find their Platinum Yeast anywhere near me, which was a shock, but I did find it miles and miles away at another market when visiting a friend.
The loaf, which contains 1 cup of whole wheat flour, didn’t rise very high over the top of the bread pan, but I expected that since most bread dough with whole wheat or other whole grain flours are heavy. BUT, was I in for a surprise. Major oven spring! I guess the platinum yeast is sort of like bread kryptonite.
Oh, did I mention that this bread is delicious and the texture wonderfully dense, but soft with the slight crunch of walnuts and poppy seeds (which I added to the recipe)? I also subbed honey for the molasses, which gave it the perfect amount of subtle sweetness, perfect for a sandwich, like my egg salad. or perfect for just ripping off pieces and enjoying as is. The latter my modus operandi.
Finally, my egg salad, but a quick little segue first. My mother, who hated cooking and baking, actually had a skill or two up her sleeve, like hard-boiling eggs and making egg salad. All of my friends loved her egg salad. Her secret? Miracle Whip. Their mothers used Hellman’s, which I preferred once I tasted it. I never looked back at the whip again, but my friends still reminisce about her egg salad to this day. Ironically, they refuse to buy Miracle Whip, the one ingredient that made it spark for them.
So this is how I got my start in egg salad via Mom. However, I prefer my egg salad eggs soft or medium soft-boiled aka kind of yolky. I was never able to find egg salad that way..anywhere. The eggs were always hard-boiled, so I took it upon myself to make it the way I liked it.
In my late 20’s, I suddenly developed a palate that could than handle hot and spicy. In fact, I started to crave it on most everything, which was odd since I could barely handle any spicy heat, on any food, before that time. This is when I started adding sriracha or chili garlic sauce to my semi-soft boiled egg salad. Both make it even more amazing than it already is, IF you dig hot and spicy stuff. You can leave out the hot sauce if you prefer, because this egg salad is the best, in my opinion, with or without it. You can also hard boil your eggs, but that would eliminate the oozing part of the yolk which becomes part of the dressing; the true twist and secret to its greatness.
Finally, as you can see in the photos; I like my egg salad chunky..chunky to the point where you need lots of napkins because pieces of egg usually fall out as you bite into it. But how small or large you cut your egg up is entirely up to you. I just about quarter each egg, and as you can also see in the photos, I piled the entire recipe for this egg salad on one sandwich.
Yes..I have prepared it this way for myself many times, but most of the time I put half of it on a sandwich and eat the rest out of the bowl. My cholesterol was normal the last time I gave blood..well over a year ago. This is why I don’t make this as often as I’d like to. It’s too good not to eat it all in one sitting.
Why not add more cholesterol..like BACON? The lettuce makes it healthy, right?
Bread machine, plus hand-held mixer and food processor instructions, HERE.
- 2 cups bread flour.
- 1 package (1/4 oz.) Red Star Platinum yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup quick rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Egg, water, rolled oats and poppy seeds for topping
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together 1¼ cups of the bread flour, the yeast, and salt until well combined.
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water, honey, vegetable oil and rolled oats and heat just until warm (120°-130°F).then pour over flour, yeast, salt mixture and stir until moistened, then beat for 3 minutes.at medium speed.
- By hand, gradually stir in whole wheat flour, nuts and enough remaining bread flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Use additional flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in warm place about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once its rested, turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat dough to a rectangle, approximately 14×7-inches. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Place in a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
- Cover and let rise until indentation remains after lightly touching the side of the loaf, about 1 hour. Midway through the rise, preheat oven to 375°F.
- Once fully risen, combine the egg and 1 tablespoon water and brush the top of the loaf. Sprinkle with rolled oats and poppy seeds. Bake in the preheated 375°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack completely before slicing (or just tear of hunks warm and slather with butter, like we occasionally do since we're weak lol).
Best Sriracha Egg Salad
- 4 large eggs, medium-soft boiled, peeled under cold running water, dried and cut into chunks or chopped
- 1 small red or orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 to 2 scallions, sliced thinly on the bias
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise OR Greek Yogurt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder (If I have a head of roasted garlic on hand, I mash in a clove of that instead of the powder)
- sriracha or chili garlic sauce, the amount depending on how much heat you like
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Place the chopped eggs, diced roasted pepper and chopped scallions in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise or yogurt with the garlic powder and sriracha or chili garlic sauce until uniform. Mix this dressing with the chopped egg, roasted pepper, and scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- You can eat immediately, but I like to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the flavors perform magic in the fridge for a few hours. I also let it sit for about 20 minutes after I take it out of the fridge so it's not really cold when served (unless you like it really cold). You want to taste every layer of flavor. Serve as sandwiches, on a salad platter, or just eat as is.