The Best Classic Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

January 3, 2011 at 7:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 44 Comments
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One of my New Year’s Resolutions, along with perfecting a good red chili sauce, is to learn to make bread. Dave over at Year On The Grill is pounding his head against the wall right now over that statement because he’s taken so much time to send me detailed instructions and words of encouragement time and again…and that was over a year ago.  Well Dave, it’s in writing now…there’s no backing out.

While Christmas shopping at Sur La Table, I walked past this box and I swear I heard Angels sing. I love English Muffins and I’m an Eggs Benedict freak so you can imagine how quickly this ended up in my basket.

I mean look at it! The rings appear to be floating on heavenly clouds and they’re urging me to make my own and they’ll be fresh and scrumptious.  Recipes on back? …I’m in.

Being doughaphobic, I  have to admit I’m pretty proud of these.  Even though they’re not perfect, if you look close enough you might see a couple Thomas-worthy nooks and crannies. After I made these, I headed over to the King Arthur web site and will try one of their recipes next. I’m a little confused. The dough on these was incredibly sticky and I’ve read a couple of places that the stickiness is what makes the nooks and crannies. Any experts out there?

They were quickly made into Eggs Benedict for Sunday breakfast.

Speaking of being in Heaven, look at that runny poached egg…yum. And the Hollandaise sauce is a new recipe for me and I love it…butter laden and all. The best part about this sauce besides the perfect flavor is that you  use the double boiler method…as soon as you take the sauce off the water you can turn up the heat, add some vinegar and poach those eggs.  Everything comes together nicely.

Classic Hollandaise Sauce (my apologies, I didn’t indicate in my database where this recipe came from, so can’t give credit where credit is due..but thanks to whomever)

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
4 Tbs boiling water
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

1. Melt the butter and keep it warm. Heat the lemon juice until just warmed. Have small saucepan with boiling water and a measuring spoon ready.

2. Place the top of a double boiler, or a medium bowl, over hot water. Place egg yolks in the double boiler and whisk until they begin to thicken. Add one tablespoon boiling water. Continue to beat the sauce until it begins to thicken. Repeat with the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, whisking the mixture after each addition. Keep the heat low enough so the eggs don’t begin to scramble. Remove the double boiler from the heat.

3. Whisk in the warmed lemon juice. Beat the sauce like crazy with a wire whisk as you slowly pour in the melted butter. Add the salt and cayenne and beat until sauce is thick. Serve immediately.

4. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. If the sauce begins to separate you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream and beat with a whisk until it is smooth again.

5. Serve this decadently rich sauce over vegetables, fish or Eggs Benedict. It takes only minutes to make and is more than worth all the frantic mixing. I like to pile asparagus spears on a slice of toasted bread (I might even add a very thin slice of ham) and spoon some of this luscious, lemony sauce over the top. What could possibly be more delicious than that!

Eggs Benedict with the Perfect Hollandaise Sauce and Homemade English Muffins…It’s What’s for Sunday Brunch.



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  1. Gorgeous! I too am a nut for Eggs Benedict. These looks so perfect! Thanks for the ring tip. Don’t know about the nook and cranny aspect of the dough stickiness though (but appreciated your labelling of the photos so we would not forget to notice!). Pat on the back for you Sis!

    • I knew someone would appreciate my labeling those almost non-existent crevices! 🙂 Thanks for the “pat”, I need it.

  2. Your english muffins look amazing! So tall, fluffy and delicious used for eggs benedict. Love this spicy version!

    • Thanks Reeni, they were too tall in my opinion, but nonetheless I was proud! The cayenne was hardly noticeable. I might add a tad more next time.

  3. The muffins may not be as holey as some, but they look delicious as does the finished dish. I especially like the shot with the broken yellow from a perfectly cooked egg – and you said you couldn’t take good photos. This is the 3rd blog I’ve visited in the last 10 minutes that has made my stomach growl – glad it’s nearly lunch time.

    • Thanks Larry. I swear I’m more proud of that perfectly cook poached egg than those Too Tall Muffins. RE photos: daylight! Used my point and shoot. Now go eat some of that ham for lunch!

  4. Why you little bread baker you!!!

    Generally there are two things you only can get in a hotel… You’ve mastered one of them!!!

    But I think you have the photo mis labeled, the nook is actually a cranny while the cranny is obviously a nook.

    😉 Dave

    • I knew you’d be proud Dave. Even though they’re “too tall Jones” muffins.

      And what’s the other thing that you can only get in a hotel????? And LOL how careless of me to mislabel the crevices.

  5. what a beautiful job on both the nooks and crannies not to mention the perfectly poached egg – wow – this is one of my favorites and I so want it now!

    • Isn’t that little nook and that cranny just adorable! 🙂 I’d eat it every day if I wasn’t afraid I’d gain 600 pounds and get the gout. 🙂

  6. Oh my gosh, this looks fabulous!!! I would LOVE to make homemade English muffins!! I need to find some tins!!

    • Sur La Table. Thanks for stopping by

  7. Nothing could possibly be better than that. You deserve a giant ATTAGIRL for this dish! Swoon-worthy food, beautiful photos and I’m so proud of you for conquering your dough fear. I’m afraid, too. Afraid I’d gain 50 pounds if I mastered bread baking. Really great post, LA!

    • Well I’m not sure I’ve conquered my dough fear, but I accidentally happened to turn out something that resembled an English Muffin. 🙂 Thanks Vic. And lol over the fear of gaining 50…I’ll just mince and Bob can be the recipient of those pounds.

  8. great job, they look amazing..hats off to you!! I need to bake more, really I should


    • Thanks so much for visiting my blog and the comment. I’m not much of a baker and I really need to bake more.

  9. I laughed when I saw the nook and cranny!! Eggs Benedict was my dad’s favorite so it’s a comfort food for me…I LOVE Eggs Benedict. This looks amazing…makes me want to eat my computer screen!! Passed this on to my chef…he needed the hint. Thanks!!

    • Eggs Benedict is my absolute favorite breakfast. Best I ever had was at the Brown Palace in Denver…served on real live crumpets. 🙂

  10. wow great job and the eggs benedict looks amazing

    happy new year


  11. I want this with the coffee Im having right now. FABULOUS!!!

  12. sorry if duplicate having trouble leaving comment. Craving this for breakfast like now. Ill take it to go.

    • Thanks Donna, wonder why you’re having trouble with the comment????? Worries me.

  13. Ok, this is my idea of heaven. Next time you make these, call me and I’ll bring the champagne.

  14. I was on the couch enjoying the Orange Bowl, when all of a sudden the announcers said; “On the sidelines is John Elway alumni from Stanford”. Elway had his trademark beaver toothed grin and smiled to the camera. Well in the the second half Stanford was routing the Hokies and the camera went back to Elway. “Here is Elway with Jim Plunket, Here is Elway with Condolezza Rice, Here is Elway with Elvis, Here is Elway with Elway, and Elway, Elway, Elway! Oh man do I need a nap.

    Oh the muffins look nice.

  15. It’s time for breakfast here and thanks to the power of suggestion I know what I’ll be having. This all looks wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • I love English Muffins for breakfast. Thanks for stopping by and the comment.

  16. Homemade English muffins, I’m really impressed. I’ve been tempted! Yours look fantastic!

  17. Those are the tallest English Muffins I’ve ever seen! I’ve made them before, but without the rings and they were nowhere this high. I’ve been wanting to try Rhulman’s recipe:

    • Those are the tallest English Muffins I’ve ever seen too. I followed instruction to let rise above the rings…hmmmmmm I will try Ruhlman’s recipe next. Thanks Karen.

  18. I just squealed for you! These are impossibly adorable! I just want to eat them and squeeze them and love them. Congrats on beginning your bread baking journey! you’re gonna love it…

    • O-4-pitysake thank you Joanne! You don’t know how much I love this comment. Can you spell encouragement?

  19. Yes! Eggs Benedict is my favorite thing to eat when I have breakfast out. I even like when restaurants tinker with the recipe and add their own twist.

    • Russ, I agree, tinkering is how I found a chipotle version. LOVE eggs benedict

  20. Your English muffins are gorgeous. And you’re right — nothing more heavenly than Eggs Benedict! I have a feeling we’re going to be trying this out soon!

  21. Those english muffins look really good, as does the poached eggs and sauce. I have baked from King Arthur’s site before and the recipes are very good. Since you live in CO I thought I would mention that baking at elevation sometimes yields varied results. King Arthur has a great hotline for you to call with questions on how you can adjust for your region of the world.

    • Thanks Christine. High altitude does offer baking challenges. I’ll keep that hotline handy.

  22. Eggs Benny is one of Alexis’ favorites for breakfast. The Hollandaise sauce I use is Tyler Florence’s version but very similar to yours. I up the cayenne a little bit and lemon juice.

    Haven’t tried making our own English muffins so I can not help you with the crooks and nannies. 🙂

    • I will up the cayenne next time too Chris. I just didn’t think it was quite enough.

  23. For a doughaphobe, that’s a very impressive accomplishment. Cheers!

  24. Excellent dish and what professionalism with the muffins and the sauce and the egg! I feel like I could swallow this in seconds!

    • I did swallow this in seconds. 🙂

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