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Eggy Bread – Perfect Brunch Comfort Food

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Turkish yumurtalı ekmek – eggy bread. A classic dish! Time for weekend brunch!

We’ve no doubt all had those situations where we’ve not been able to go food shopping for whatever reason and as a result, there aren’t a lot of ingredients in the house to inspire any sort of extravagant brunch.

A close up section of fried eggy bread
When there’s little in the fridge – the golden perfection of eggy bread

This usually happens to us when we’ve got friends over to visit and days are spent on the beaches of Fethiye or enjoying all the great things to do in the area.

Regular routine goes out of the window and all of a sudden, the cupboards and fridge look a bit sad for themselves because we’ve neglected them by failing to replenish dwindling stocks.

So now, it’s brunch time, we’re hungry and we’re staring at not very much in the way of food.

What to do?

Fortunately, for us, we’ve usually got a bit of yesterday’s leftover stale bread lurking about the kitchen somewhere and it’s very rare that we don’t have a few eggs in the fridge.

Eggy bread to the rescue!

How To Make Yumurtalı Ekmek (Eggy Bread)

Two piles of sliced crusty loaf.
Old bread makes great eggy bread

Let’s say right now; this is not the healthiest recipe you’re ever going to come across – but it is going to get you off to a good start for the day and it really does the trick in the satisfaction stakes.

Eggy bread is also common in Turkish cuisine and white bread, rather than brown bread, is the ingredient of choice.

Sometimes, you will see yumurtalı ekmek (eggy bread) served as part of your Turkish village breakfast.

But for the purposes of this post, we’re making this great simple dish as an emergency brunch or afternoon snack which, emergency or not, never fails to please!

Turkish bread is very airy and doesn’t contain preservatives so, even after just a few hours, it can lose that fabulous, freshly baked texture.

Cutting it into slices and making eggy bread is a great way of using up your not-very-fresh bread.

Spices on top of a raw egg.
Oodles of chilli flakes for us

This basic recipe is one of those dishes where Barry takes over in the kitchen.

He’s good at this sort of food. And, well, our kitchen just isn’t big enough for the two of us!

Two slices of bread soaking in beaten egg mixture.
Soak your bread in the egg

I set the table whilst he mixes beaten egg, chilli flakes and other little additions on a large plate or shallow bowl.

He takes each slice of bread and starts to soak it in the eggy mixture.

Meanwhile, the oil and butter is gently heating on a medium heat in the frying pan and all manner of condiments and accompaniments are added to the table; salt, brown sauce (a favourite amongst us Brits) homemade tomato ketchup (Turkish kahvaltılık sauce) and süzme yoghurt.

Six slices of egg-coated bread.
Now your bread is ready for the pan

Once all the uncooked egg has been absorbed, it’s time to add the soaked bread slices to the heated oil and butter in your hot frying pan.

We know butter is naughty, but we’re all allowed a little naughty food treat every now and then, aren’t we? It just makes for a richer flavour.

The cooking process is short and after just a few minutes (2-3 minutes on each side), your slices of eggy bread are a wonderfully tempting golden brown and your brunch is ready to hit the table.

Now brew yourself some çay (Turkish tea), sit down with your knife and fork, salt and pepper and work your way through your cooked eggy bread slices, marvelling at how simple ingredients can produce such a great lunch.

If you’ve got any süzme yoghurt in the house, a healthy dollop on the side works wonders.

A golden brown slice of Turkish eggy bread.
Good old, no nonsense Turkish eggy bread

Of course, in other circumstances, eggy bread can also be a perfect breakfast on its own or an accompaniment to a bigger meal.

It’s lovely served with a mixed salad, for example, (shepherd’s salad would be a good choice), but for this simple recipe, we’re keeping life easy. Well, we’re assuming there’s hardly any food in the house, remember.

When you get yumurtalı ekmek in Turkey, it is a savoury dish rather than the sweet option of a French toast recipe.

We don’t have a sweet tooth so the savoury type of eggy bread suits us.

Eggy Bread Recipe – Ingredients & Method

A close up of fried eggy bread topped with chilli.
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How To Make Eggy Bread

Call it what you will – eggy bread, French toast, yumurtalı ekmek. Whatever name you give it, it's a simple but very satisfying brunch.
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Course Breakfast / Brunch
Cuisine British, French, Turkish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 340kcal
Author Turkey’s For Life

Ingredients

  • 4 thick slices stale bread around 50 grams in total
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for frying
  • 20 grams butter for frying
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes optional
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mint
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Crack your eggs onto a large plate.
  • Add the chilli flakes, cumin, mint, salt & pepper.
  • Gently beat the mixture with a fork.
  • Begin to gently heat your oil & butter together in a frying pan.
  • Take your slices of bread & place them in the egg mixture.
  • Turn them over, making sure the bread is fully coated on each side.
  • Now turn the heat to medium & swirl the oil & butter to cover the base of the pan.
  • Place each slice of bread into the oil & butter mix (you may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan).
  • Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until your eggy bread is golden and cooked to your liking.

Notes

  • This is a basic, savoury eggy bread recipe common in both British and Turkish cuisine.
  • If you like, you can add a little milk or grated cheese to your egg mixture before you fry it. Alternatively, some people like to add sweet toppings, too, such as honey.
  • Standard Turkish bread is light and airy. French or Italian bread is also suitable for eggy bread recipes if you can’t get Turkish bread.
  • Please note: Nutritional information uses approximate values.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 340kcal
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Nanette Olsen

Monday 16th of October 2023

This brought back such memories! At our first apartment building in Türkiye, we had a doorman (kapıcı; basically the apartment manager). One day, before we had learned very much Turkish, we returned from a trip with our young children. We had locked ourselves out of our apartment, and the doorman’s wife was kind enough to host us in their ground floor apartment until we could gain entry. For some reason it was morning, and she made us eggy bread. That was our first taste of it. I don’t think I’ve tried making it since before recipes were readily available on the Internet…it just came to my mind this morning. I was so delighted to find your recipe and taste Yumurtalı ekmek again!

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Hi Nanette, thanks a lot for your comment. A lovely story. Glad you've been able to reacquaint yourself with the Turkish eggy bread you remember! :)

Val Luck

Saturday 23rd of August 2014

Would be good with some cheese in the egg mix, maybe something strong and finely grated like Pecorino.

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 19th of May 2016

Yeah, an interesting addition to the eggy bread. I'd have to try that alone as Barry's not a big fan of cheese being added to some foods. ;)

sunthing

Wednesday 20th of August 2014

You can add some milk to the mixture too.

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 21st of August 2014

Yeah, might try that. We use milk in our omelettes and scrambled eggs so I guess there's no reason why we shouldn't add it to yumurtalı ekmek. :)

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 18th of September 2013

@ Miss Footloose: Cheese sounds good. The sweet savoury thing has really interested us. Must give the sweet a go one day. :)

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane

Wednesday 18th of September 2013

A day is not lost when you learn something new ;) It would never have occurred to me to make savory French toast, but it sounds fabulous! I can see myself sprinkling it with a bit of cheese...

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