How To Make The Rebel Within (Without Losing Your Mind)

We had a Saturday morning with a lot of time before a 12:30 birthday party. What this says to me: Brunch.

Brunch is the perfect meal. Mostly breakfasty things, some lunchy things. Eggy things and waffley things. Cinnamon — so much cinnamon! Cinnamon is always a good place to start, so I did.

I had my 10-year-old bake a tube of cinnamon rolls. In general, I avoid baked goods that come in tubes, but sometimes they’re handy to have around. Meanwhile I made a pan of baked oatmeal with half raisins and half chocolate chips. This kept them from starving while I attacked what I really wanted:

The Rebel Within.

If you haven’t had the pleasure, The Rebel Within is a magical breakfast (brunch!) delight served at Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco. It’s a soft-boiled egg baked inside a sausage and asiago biscuit. When you slice into it, the runny yolk oozes out like golden breakfast manna. Those few words are not enough to describe how amazing this food is. I had one a few months ago, and as I was eating, I was marveling at how in the world you could bake a biscuit and keep the egg in the center from becoming fully done.

Fortunately, since a trip to San Francisco for brunch isn’t particularly convenient to my east coast life, the folks at Follow Me Foodie took on the science of figuring this out. I’ve been meaning to try it for a while, and this lazy Saturday brunching morning seemed like a good opportunity.

The result? Burning some airline miles on a flight to San Francisco when this craving strikes is not the worst idea ever. But baking them yourself is not impossible.

Here’s the basic idea: You boil the eggs for only 4-5 minutes, so they’re just done enough to peel, but still raw enough that the yolk is runny after baking them in the biscuits.

It’s that “peeling” word that’s the trick.

Follow Me Foodie has really good instructions about how to go about this. I do think they’re sound instructions, but I believe my failure was in letting the eggs get too cool before I started peeling them. I was baking the oatmeal and making the batter for the Rebels, then a kid dropped a cinnamon roll on the carpet… this is what multitasking looks like.

After four disasters, I put the last egg back in the still-warm water I’d boiled them in while I peeled the second to last one. You’ll see that peeling it while still hot (also ever so slightly more done, I’m sure, from sitting in the warm water another minute) was the most successful peel.

Nevertheless, I would not be daunted by these collapsing eggs. I found that in all but one case, I was able to keep the yolks together, even when I started ripping off whites along with the shells in my egg-determined fury. Follow Me Foodie has you lay the peeled eggs on plastic wrap, which I had prepared. So I carefully laid my collapsed eggs and whatever what left of their whites on the plastic:

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Then I edged the muffin pan with the batter, bottom and sides. (Obviously a regular muffin pan is not going to hold all this — I used the Wilton King-Sized Muffin pan, and it was barely large enough. I carefully scooped up each egg in its sad state and dropped it in the center of one of the muffins, then covered the tops with the remaining batter:

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This picture is before I finished covering the tops. You can see that one reasonably successfully peeled egg on the lower left. On the top right… well, technically the egg is in there, right? That one’s more of a scrambled-egg-in-a-biscuit situation.

Twenty minutes later, the moment of truth. I started with that one that seemed the most successful — the egg that stayed intact. Alas, it had gotten too far done:

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It was still delicious, of course, but not the intended result. I sliced into one of the others:

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Success! Once all that yolk runs out, and you start eating the bacon-egg-biscuit magic, you really can’t even tell that it wasn’t an intact egg in there. (I suspect my husband I served it to had no idea until he read this.) Brunch is for lazy Saturday mornings. Brunch is not dependent on perfection.

Epilogue: After chowing down on what was supposed to be my lazy Saturday morning, I realized I had forgotten to put laundry in the dryer and thus had no jeans to wear to that birthday party. What was that about multitasking? Well, at least I had brunch.

Ruth Suehle

By day, Ruth works to make open source software communities better. The rest of the time, she makes things, which means her husband and kids know to watch out for stray sewing pins and to ask before eating anything made of fondant.

Comments

  1. Sarah Pinault

    Yours looks more delicious than the final product at Follow Me Foodie. Now I need to try this!

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