Some of the most interesting recipes to recreate are the simplest; recipes for everyday dishes that explain how to 'cook these perfectly' in the opinion of the author or the times.
In her book 'A Second Dudley Book of Recipes' (1914), The Countess of Dudley provides one recipe for fried eggs; which is written in far more detail than most of the more ambitious recipes in her book, and another for how 'to cook bacon', written in the 'Breakfast' chapter.
The Countess's suggestion to keep the eggs soft by placing solidified pieces of egg white on to the yolk as it cooks was genius. The baked bacon was so lovely we now prefer it to fried bacon. It is far easier to pop the bacon into the oven for a while and not have to worry about there being a mess of fat splattered around the hob to clean up later.
Try The Countess of Dudley's recipe yourself for an energising breakfast and let us know what you think!
Original Recipes: 'To Cook Bacon' & 'Fried Eggs' (Book 3, 1914)
Speed: 20 minutes | Serves: As many as liked
Bacon - as many slices as desired
Eggs - as many as desired, preferably free range and organic as the Countess of Dudley would have likely have kept chickens for fresh eggs on the grounds of Pembroke Lodge; her home at the time she wrote this book
Extra virgin olive oil - or an alternative frying oil/fat. The recipe states that 'Any fat, providing it is well purified, can be used for frying eggs, but pure olive oil is the best'
In addition to these ingredients, please be sure to have a hot plate ready to dish the cooked bacon and eggs onto once they are finished. This is particularly important as one egg should be cooked at a time.
'To Cook Bacon'
1. As many slices of bacon as desired should be arranged on a sheet of baking parchment set within a flat baking tin.
2. Bake for between 10 - 15 minutes in a hot oven 200°C fan (392°F/Gas Mark 6). Around 5 minutes before this is ready, make the eggs.
1. Heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan until this begins to smoke slightly.
2. Break the first egg onto a plate or in a small bowl, ensuring that the yolk remains intact. Season this well with salt and pepper.
3. Slide the egg into the pan. Quickly separate small sections of solidified egg white from around the edges with a wooden spoon and place these gently on top of the egg yolk as this cooks. This will keep the yolk soft (and keep it's colour).
4. Once cooked, remove the egg from the pan and drain quickly on a piece of cloth or kitchen towel and then place on the heated plate.
5. Cook the other eggs in the same way until the required number is cooked.
6. Serve the eggs with the bacon laid around them.
Note: The original recipe for fried eggs requested that the eggs are served with fried bacon rather than baked, but we saw an opportunity to test two simple recipes from the same book together!
Original Recipes for 'To Cook Bacon' and 'Fried Eggs'
'BOOK 3': A Second Dudley Book of Recipes (1914)
Collected and Arranged By: Georgina Ward, Countess of Dudley
Publisher: Hutchinson & Co. (Paternoster Row, London, England, U.K.)