What’s your idea of a good morning? A sleep in, definitely. Followed by freshly brewed tea or coffee, and a sun-drenched brunch in the sunshine. For us, that would go pretty close.

A new book called Good Mornings is trying to help with the breakfast and brunch component of that routine. Written by California-raised, Melbourne-based food stylist and recipe developer Deborah Kaloper, with photography by Mark Roper, it includes 50 recipes that have been created to flip the brunch-is-always-indulgent philosophy.

Sure, it can be a treat, but it doesn’t need to be a calorie explosion. Kaloper’s recipes are refined-sugar free and mostly vegetarian, and there are lots of vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options.

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Good Mornings includes a section devoted to one of the stars of the mid-morning meal: eggs. In her guide to perfect eggs, be it poached, fried, boiled or scrambled, Kaloper says there’s one thing that’s very important to get right, even before you start cooking.

“Fresh eggs are the key to perfect poached and fried eggs,” she writes in the intro. “Use the freshest eggs that you can possibly get. The whites will be firmer and will hold together much better when they are super fresh. Scrambled and boiled eggs are less particular.”

Here is her guide to making eggs, whichever way you prefer.

Perfectly poached
Bring 10–13 cm of water to the boil in a saucepan, then reduce to a rapid simmer. Crack your egg into a mug or ramekin, then pour the egg into the simmering water. This allows you to gently slide the egg into the hot water with more ease and control. Poach for about 3 minutes, depending on the size of your egg, and how runny or firm you like the yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on your toast, zoodles or waffles. The slotted spoon allows the water to drain out from underneath the egg, ensuring that your toast doesn’t get soggy.

Sunny-side-up eggs are cooked until the whites have just set and the yolk is still delicate. Easy-over is when you gently flip the egg over to lightly cook it for a few seconds longer; the whites are then fully cooked, but the yolk will be runny when cut. It’s just a matter of preference. I like a well-seasoned cast-iron frying pan (skillet) for all my frying and sautéing, including frying eggs. A little oil and/or cultured butter or ghee is all you need to perfectly fry or scramble eggs.

Heat your pan over medium to high heat. When hot, add about 1½–2 teaspoons of olive oil, cultured butter, ghee, or a combination of butter and oil per egg. Swirl the oil around the bottom of the pan, crack your egg into the pan and cook for 2–4 minutes, depending on how soft or firm you prefer it. You can also add a tablespoon of water to the pan and cover it with a lid to steam-cook the top of the egg.

I like a soft-boiled 6-minute egg as it has a jammy yolk centre. The soft jammy-ness will depend on the size of egg used, so cook for 6–7 minutes, according to how runny or jammy you like the yolk to be.

Bring 10–13 cm of water to the boil in a saucepan, then reduce to a rapid simmer. Use a large kitchen spoon to lower your egg into the pan, then return to the boil. Cook for 6–7 minutes for a soft-boiled egg and 10–12 minutes for hard-boiled. Remove from the hot water with a slotted spoon and plunge into an ice bath. This stops the cooking process. Peel when cool enough to handle and serve.

To make scrambled eggs, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add salt and pepper, and whisk well to combine. Set a large frying pan over low heat, add a little oil and/or cultured butter or ghee, then pour in the egg mixture. To create soft, fluffy scrambled eggs, gently stir, pushing and folding the egg mixture from the outer edge of the pan into the centre. Continue to gently push the egg around the pan until just set or cooked to your liking.

This is an extract from Good Mornings by Deborah Kaloper, photography by Mark Roper, published by Smith Street Books, distributed by Thames & Hudson Australia, $29.99. It’s available now – order it here.