Eggs are a classic choice, and can feel hearty and filling without being too heavy. Poached, fried, boiled or even baked, with bacon or mushrooms, Hollandaise or brown sauce, you’re sure to be able to cook something that suits everyone’s personal preferences. To cook in bulk, one of the simplest options is to make the most of your trusty muffin tray and bake eggs in pastry cups, meaning you can make twelve (or more) in one go, and personalise as you wish – use filo pastry for a healthier option, or shortcrust for something more substantial, fill with Parma ham for meat-lovers or spinach for vegetarians.
Pastry offers a speedy route to crisp bakes straight from the oven. Ready-made puff pastry can be rolled or shaped into café-style pastries in moments – fill with cinnamon and sugar, or nuts and fruits for classic Danish swirls; chocolate for a French pain au chocolat; or shape into croissants and cut open while still warm and fill with ham and cheese for something more savoury.
If brunch should be ‘talk-compelling’ then perhaps something a little more unusual would fit the bill. Combining savoury and sweet options in one dish is an instant way to show off your creativity, such as with American-style pancakes topped with bacon and smothered in maple syrup. Playing on the traditional pork and apple combo, bacon could add a savoury note to something like an apple tart. The traditional full English could also be translated into dainty portions, such as a tart filling or baked into frittatas, making eggs, sausages, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms something a little more glamorous.
Whatever you decide to cook, and whoever you end up sharing it with, you’ll know you’re indulging in a historic tradition that seems to be here to stay. Whether or not it truly ‘sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week’, we’re eternally grateful to Guy Beringer’s plea for brunch.