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We take our traditions for granted when we are kids. Not in an intentional way, but our worldview at the time is so narrow we never consider that our traditions may change.
In my family, we’ve outgrown some of our traditions like listening to our Dad read us the Night before Christmas every Christmas Eve. While other traditions, like checking the downstairs for reindeer poop before we could leave our bedrooms, have faded away as my siblings and I slowly moved out of the house. We are left with the memories from past traditions, and the desire to forge new ones.
My family’s Christmas looks very different than it did in the past. While Zac and I were living in Seattle, my Mom started a tradition of hosting Christmas brunch. Last year was our 1st Christmas back east in almost 4 years, so it was a nice change to spend Christmas morning with family.
My Mom made a breakfast egg braid that was a huge hit! It was flakey on the outside and stuffed with bacon, eggs, and cheese. It was the perfect Christmas brunch dish – easy to make, large enough for sharing, and out of the ordinary for a special day.
I enjoyed the breakfast egg braid so much that I wanted to remake it to share and add my own special touches!
I started by switching out the dough. My Mom used Pillsbury crescent roll dough, which I substituted with frozen puff pastry.
Puff pastry is a type of laminated dough. It’s created by folding butter into dough multiple times, resulting in alternating layers of dough and butter.
While baking, steam puffs up each layer before evaporating, leaving a flakey and airy crust. Flakier, in my opinion, than crescent roll dough.
Next I wanted to bulk up the puff pastry breakfast recipe with some leafy greens.. I love sprucing up my scrambled eggs with leafy greens! I typically throw in spinach, but this time I decided to go with Tuscan kale. It’s heartier than spinach so it adds a nice crisp texture among the soft scrambled eggs.
Lastly, I wanted to make sure the puff pastry breakfast braid wasn’t too heavy. Christmas is a day for eating and no one wants to start the day off with an overly heavy breakfast.
To balance out the rich flavors of bacon, eggs, and cheese I added a touch of creme fraiche along with fresh thyme. Creme fraiche is slightly acidic which helps to balance out rich flavors. While chopped thyme brings a touch of fresh, bright flavor to the egg braid.
This recipe is delicious, fun to make, and a beautiful addition to your holiday brunch! Enjoy!
If you’re looking for some more holiday inspiration, check out my friend Kendell’s Advent calendar. It’s filled with tasty recipes for your holiday celebrations!
Try out these tools
Check out these other holiday recipes!
- Vanilla Bundt Cake with Cranberry Swirl & Orange Glaze
- Short Rib Ragu
- Glazed Cream Puffs with Cranberry Buttercream
- Beet Ravioli with Spinach Ricotta
Puff Pastry Breakfast Braid
- 8 large eggs + 1 for egg wash
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz of bacon diced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium shallots thinly sliced
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 3 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- 2 oz creme fraiche
- 1 package frozen puff pastry 2 sheets, thawed
- 1 ½ cups grated Gruyere cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add salt and whisk until smooth. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes (*see note).
- Meanwhile, add the diced bacon to a large non-stick, cold skillet. Turn the heat to medium and render the bacon until crispy, about 8-12 minutes (*see note).
- While the bacon is cooking, line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Unroll one puff pastry onto each sheet pan with the short side of the puff pastry is facing towards you. Working with one puff pastry at a time, divide the dough into thirds; on each of the outside thirds, cut diagonal slits about ¾ of an inch wide. Leave the center third uncut (see pictures above). Store in the fridge until ready to bake (*see note).
- Remove the bacon from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Carefully drain all the bacon grease from the pan.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to the pan; reheat the pan over medium heat then add shallots. Sautee 2-3 minutes until soft.
- Add the milk and thyme to the eggs; whisk to combine. Turn the pan down to medium low then pour in the eggs. Stir the eggs frequently with a rubber spatula until no eggs liquid remains, about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat. Fold in the creme fraiche until melted and completely combined. Gently fold in the chopped kale. Lightly cover the pan with foil and let the kale steam with the eggs for 5 minutes.
- Remove the puff pastry from the fridge. Evenly spread ¼ of cooked bacon onto the middle third of one puff pastry sheet. Next evenly sprinkle ¼ of gruyere cheese. On top of the cheese, spread half of the scrambled eggs. Next top with another ¼ of cooked bacon and ¼ of gruyere cheese. Repeat for the second puff pastry sheet.
- Starting with the end closest to you, criss cross the cut slits of the pastry dough over each other to form a braid (*see note). See pictures above for more details. Once the slits are braided, lightly pinch the front and back edge of the puff pastry closed.
- Beat the extra egg in a small bowl. Brush the tops of each egg braid with the egg. Bake in a 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the top of the puff pastry is golden brown.
- As the eggs cook and get hotter, the proteins in the yolks pull tighter together. If the proteins get too tight, they squeeze out liquid from the curds; this results in scrambled eggs that appear to weep. Salting the eggs and allowing them to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes prior to cooking helps to loosen the proteins in the yolks. You’ll end up with tender, moist curds and reduce the chances of watery eggs. The color of the eggs with also change during those 15 minutes. They will turn from a bright yellow to a dark orange.
- Starting the bacon in a cold pan will ensure the bacon fat renders slowly and cooks evenly.
- I like to roll my puff pastry out and slice while my bacon is cooking and eggs are resting, so it is ready to go when the eggs are finished. If you roll out your pastry early, return it to the fridge so it doesn’t get soft sitting at room temperature; if it sits out too long it can get sticky and tricky to handle.
- You may have some extra puff pastry slits towards the end of your braid. You can either criss cross them over the back of the braid or cut them off and bake separately.