Weekend brunch was pretty much a given when I lived in Portland. Somehow I braved the inevitable long lines in the rain on many a Saturday (free coffee helps) in hopes of demolishing a platter of build-your-own hash browns or an egg and bacon sandwich.
Laurie Wolf devotes an entire chapter to the meal in Portland, Oregon Chef's Table, a testament to its popularity. While many restaurants offer over-the-top dishes of fried meats smothered in gravy, Southeast Portland's Toast offers simpler (but no less hangover-curing) dishes like their egg and sausage sandwich named 'Go Home Thomas.' Their recipe offers directions for making each element from scratch, including the English muffin.
Why I picked this recipe: Egg and sausage may seem like an obvious choice for a brunch recipe, but this totally DIY recipe had me excited to try my hand at homemade English muffins.
What worked: The muffins were full of nooks and crannies, and the smoked paprika in the sausage was an inspired addition.
What didn't: I would have liked a little less sausage and a little more cheese in my sandwich (who doesn't want more cheese?), but that is easily fixed next go-around.
Suggested tweaks: Be sure to well-season the sausage mixture before cooking; you can test a small bit in a skillet before assembly to make sure you've added enough salt. Also, scrambling the eggs was a fine option (especially when making several sandwiches at once), but I'm sure the dish would be great with a runny fried egg instead.
Reprinted with permission from Portland, Oregon Chef's Table by Laurie Wolf. Copyright 2012. Published by Lyons Press. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Yield:serves 6
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:12 to 24 hours
- For the Sausage
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- Smoked paprika, to taste
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- For the Muffins
- 3 1/4 plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup cornmeal
- For the Eggs
- 12 large eggs
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese, for assembly
For the sausage, combine the sausage ingredients in a medium bowl. Let sit in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Divide into six portions and press into circles. Cook on griddle for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
For the muffins, mix the 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, bread flour, salt, yeast, sugar, and water in large bowl. Add the water and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Cover; let the dough double in size (2 to 3 hours at room temperature, or in the refrigerator overnight).
After the dough has doubled, mix together remaining all-purpose flour and cornmeal, and liberally flour counter with cornmeal mixture. Transfer the dough to counter and roll out the dough until approximately 3/4- to 1-inch thick.
Cut dough into rounds [Ed note: I used a 3-inch biscuit cutter] and place on a well-oiled griddle on low to medium heat. Let brown on one side, flip, and oil again. The muffins will be done when they push back readily in the center.
For the eggs, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add butter to a nonstick pan and stir to cook. Keep stirring the eggs into the center of the pan; try to keep the eggs almost omeletlike, not small pieces.
To assemble, Toast six muffins until golden brown. Place a sausage patty on six halves, then some scrambled eggs, top with cheese, and cover with other muffin halves.