Eggs Benedict

Original Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is one of the ultimate brunch dishes. It has a fair bit of history, with multiple origin stories from the late 1800’s. In one of these Lemuel Benedict, a New York stockbroker, told the New Yorker in the Talk of the Town column in 1942 that he walked into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and wanted something for his hangover. He ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of Hollandaise”, something the widely known maître’d hôtel Oscar Tschirky refined to toasted English muffin and ham together with the poached egg and Hollandaise. Among other things, Oscar is also credited with the Waldorf Salad.

In the other main story Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, a regular patron of the Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City, wanted to try something new for lunch.  After she had a discussion with the chef, Charles Ranhofer, he came up with the Eufa a’ la Benedick which was later published in his cookbook The Epicurean in 1894.

“Eggs à la Benedick – Cut some muffins in halves crosswise, toast them without allowing to brown, then place a round of cooked ham an eighth of an inch thick and of the same diameter as the muffins one each half. Heat in a moderate oven and put a poached egg on each toast. Cover the whole with Hollandaise sauce.” – Charles Ranhofer, The Epicurean.

What makes this origin story interesting is that Oscar Tschirky worked as the maître’d at the Delmonico’s restaurant before he became known as “Oscar of the Waldorf”.

In this Original Eggs Benedict recipe, we explore the Lemuel Benedict version with crispy bacon and toast to create a hearty version of the dish a little more suited for a Nordic winter cabin trip than a Sunday brunch in the city. Use whatever toast you like, we like individual rustic, sourdough wheat rolls (in Norwegian known as “rundstykke” and in Swedish “fralla”). For the established version, just follow Chef Ranhofers recipe above.

Eggs Benedict

Old school Eggs Benedict.

Eggs Benedict

4 servings

  • 4 eggs
  • 5 ml white wine vinegar
  • table salt

Poached eggs

  1. Bring a medium sized pan of water to barely a simmer. Fill it with water to about 15 cm height and add a splash of white wine vinegar and a pinch of table salt (helps firm the egg white and keep the egg floating in the water).
  2. Strain each egg in a sieve and put them individually into its own small bowl or cup – don’t skip this step as it’s crucial in getting nice, smooth and rounded eggs without stringy egg white everywhere.
  3. Prepare a large bowl with ice cubes and water.
  4. Poach each egg individually by making a small swirl in the pan and gently tipping the egg from the bowl into the simmering water. Cook for 2 minutes and then transfer the egg to the ice bath.
  5. Repeat for all eggs and keep them in the ice bath until it’s time to finish the dish.
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 ml white wine vinegar
  • 100 g room-temperature butter

Make the Hollandaise

  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Reserve the whites for other use and put the yolks in a bowl together with the vinegar.
  2. Whisk and warm slowly over a bain-marie (a saucepan filled with simmering water) until slightly foamy, the yolks should not get coagulated. Continuously lift up your bowl from the bain-marie to touch the bottom of the bowl to check the temperature, it should never be hot to touch, only warm.
  3. Take one third of the butter (in cubes) and whisk into the yolks, still checking the temperature continuously. Once incorporated, take the rest of the butter in two batches.
  4. To finish, season with salt and a little black pepper. 
  • 140 g dry-cured smoked bacon

Prepare the bacon

  1. Cut the bacon into lengths equal to the length (or width) of your toast and place into a heated pan (medium-high heat). Stir the bacon in the hot pan for about 30 seconds and then lower the heat to medium and let the bacon slowly fry until the fat has rendered and they are crispy, around 4-5 minutes.
  2. Remove the bacon from pan and let some of the fat be absorbed on a paper towel. Save the rendered fat in the pan for later use.
  • 2 sourdough wheat rolls
  • prepared pached eggs
  • prepared Hollandaise
  • prepared bacon


  1. Halve the wheat rolls, reheat the bacon pan on medium-high heat (with the rendered fat still in it) and toast the rolls until golden (1-2 minutes).
  2. Remove the poached eggs from the ice bath and gently reheat in the poaching water for 15-30 seconds. Remove from the warm water, using a slotted spoon, and place on plate with paper towels.
  3. Put the bacon on the toast, place the poached egg on top of the bacon, sprinkle a little salt and cover the egg with Hollandaise. Make sure the surface of the egg is not hot and reasonably dry, otherwise the sauce will run off the egg and split along the boundary surface.