Author Notes: Next Sunday morning, you don’t need to feel like a line cook: This recipe takes the quickest, best, laziest ways to make American breakfast foods and organizes them—quite literally, on a sheet pan—so that you end up with a full breakfast spread in 25 minutes flat. Here’s how it happens: Cook bacon in the oven (the way that doesn’t sputter grease all over your kitchen, but also leaves you with evenly crisp bacon). Then wring the liquid out of grated potatoes and arrange them in the thinnest layer (a la Josh Ozersky) to cook in the bacon’s fat. The potatoes end up all the way crisp, in a fraction of the time it takes you to get sort of mushy, not really crispy hash browns. Then right at the end, fry-bake your eggs (a la Jessica Koslow, reigning breakfast priestess of Los Angeles) so that the yolks are the right amount of runny and the whites are totally cooked through.
If you’re like, where’s the bread? What about the pancakes? Cook (aka fry) those in the bacon-butter before the potatoes and eggs, then keep em warm in a foil packet in the oven. The recipe could also easily be doubled; just use two sheet pans! —Ali Slagle
Russet potato, washed but not peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat the oven to 400° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the bacon slices evenly across.
- Bake the bacon for 10 minutes, until they’ve given off a good amount of fat but are not yet crisp. While the bacon is baking, grate the potato on the large holes of a grater into a bowl filled with cold water. Swish the potatoes around vigorously, until the water is murky. Drape a kitchen towel (one you don’t care much about) into a strainer in the sink. Pour the potatoes into the strainer and let the water run out. Then gather the ends of the towel and twist and squeeze the potatoes into the sink. Do it a few more times until no more liquid comes out.
- When the bacon’s out of the oven, remove the bacon from the pan and wrap them in a piece of foil to keep warm.
- Take one tablespoon of the butter and run it around the parchment on the sheet pan so that the parchment is thoroughly greased (this is a protective measure in case your bacon didn’t give off much grease). Now sprinkle the grated potato over the parchment so that they resemble spider webs—not clumps. The thinner the layer of potato, the better they’ll crisp up evenly. You want to see the sheet pan beneath the potato. Depending on the size of your potato, you may find you have too much to fit on the baking sheet; don’t cramp the potato—you will have less hash browns, but they will be better. Sprinkle lightly with salt and return to the oven for 15 minutes, until the bottoms of the potato snowflakes are golden brown.
- Sometime while the potatoes are cooking, heat the other tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once melted, turn the heat off. (This is you getting ready for a little multitasking in the next step. If your sheet pan can do it, so can you. The best time to do this is about 5 minutes before your potatoes will come out of the oven, but anytime while the potatoes are in the oven will work.)
- Take the sheet pan out of the oven and turn the burner under the frying pan to medium-high heat. Using a spatula, carefully flip the potatoes on the sheet pan. The potatoes will have diminished in size, so squish them towards one side of the pan while still making sure they’re all in one layer.
- Crack your eggs in the melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the clear egg whites have actually turned white, use your same spatula and transfer the eggs to the free space on the sheet pan. Go get your bacon and lay it wherever it fits (it’s okay if there’s some overlapping between the bacon and potatoes).
- Return the pan to the oven and bake until the potatoes are nice and crispy and the eggs are cooked, about 5 minutes. Eat at once.
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Photo by James Ransom
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Photo by Emily Dryden