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French style soft-boiled eggs with bread

French-style soft boiled eggs on the shell

Soft boiled eggs on the shell are one of the most popular dishes in France. This is a step by step method to cook them just right.
Course Breakfast, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword just right, soft boiled eggs
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 127kcal


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 bread slices (use regular bread or gluten-free variety as needed)
  • Salt, pepper or hot sauce


  • Bring a small pan to a boil. The water level should be high enough to fully cover the eggs once in.
  • Take the eggs out of the fridge and using a large spoon, gently place them in the boiling water. Avoid any shock that could break them open.
    2 large organic brown eggs
  • Let them cook on medium heat for 4 minutes. Consult recipe story and notes for variables that can change the target cooking time.
    Place the cold eggs in a boiling pan
  • Using the same large spoon, take the eggs out of the pan and place them in the egg cups.
    French style soft-boiled eggs with bread
  • Break the top part of the shell with a knife, hitting around the shell in circle, then poke through the egg and remove the shell cap.
    Cut the egg top with a small sharp knife
  • Add hot sauce, or salt and/or pepper, and eat immediately.
    French style soft-boiled eggs on the shell


Some people like the white to be fully cooked absolutely no runny white at all. If that is the case, I recommend a cooking time of 4 mins to 4 mins and 30 seconds. You may have a slightly cooked yolk as a result. Cooking is a continuum. There is no border between white and yolk, so within 10 seconds, the line between the two can be crossed. I prefer my eggs to have a more liquid yolk at the expense of having a few areas of runny egg white left. This is the 3 mins 45 seconds to 4-minute mark. These times are assuming:
  • you are using large or very large eggs
  • the eggs come into the boiling pan at fridge temperature
  • you don't live in very high altitude (2000+ meters, 5000+ feet)
Changes from these assumptions will impact how fast your eggs cook. Smaller eggs cook faster, and so do those coming in at room temperature. High altitude makes water boil at a lower temperature, requiring longer cook times.


Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 89mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1.5mg