You’re on the quest to make the perfect breakfast. That’s a noble endeavor and surely a reason to pride yourself, when you eventually get everything perfect. So it comes time to perfect your omelette skills. You’ve heard some people add milk, some add water, some add absolutely nothing to an omelette.
Do omelettes have milk ? Do they have water ? Are they better if using just eggs ? And is it any different if making a French omelette ? These are all very good questions, crucial to the perfect omelette. So let’s crack a few eggs and find out.
Do omelettes have milk ?
Traditionally omelettes do not have any milk or water in them. Their only additions are the toppings, in the case of American omelettes. For the French version the toppings are added to the plate, after the eggs are done cooking.
There are recipes that incorporate milk into the eggs in an effort to get a creamier, fluffier omelette but we think the problem there is with the technique. The eggs end up drying out due to high heat, so the solution is to reduce the heat and always stir, rather than add milk.
That being said, each person chooses whether to add milk to their omelette. We’ll explore how milk affects an omelette, and how American and French omelette differ in that regard.
What does milk do in an omelette ?
Milk adds moisture and extra protein to an omelette. In the case of high-heat cooking moisture can easily evaporate and dry out the protein bonds, leading to a tougher omelette.
Cooking the omelette on medium, or even low heat, while stirring and folding will result in a moist, fluffy omelette that needs no extra moisture.
Read also: Why Is My French Toast Soggy ?
The problem with adding milk is that it can make the omelette cook slower and even weep. We don’t recommend adding milk to an omelette, no matter the recipe.
Is water any better ?
Water adds even more moisture than milk in an omelette. We’re aware the quantity is small – about a tablespoon of water or milk for every 2 eggs. But it’s still a lot of moisture to cook through, and you will get a bland tasting omelette.
French omelettes require no milk
When you make a French omelette you do no need to add milk, at all. Not even than one tablespoon of milk. The whole idea of a French omelette is to emulsify the butter and eggs on a low heat, stirring constantly. It’s a difficult thing to pull off, and the extra moisture from the milk results in an interior that is too runny by the time the exterior is ready to be folded over.
If you cook the omelette well, it should not end up dry and rubbery. The butter, as a fat, will prevent too much moisture from escaping. Besides you’re not looking for completely cooked eggs. As the eggs emulsify (like in mayo) they are no longer raw, so they are safe to eat even in their runny state.
American or Western omelettes are very flexible
Let’s take a look at the simpler version of an omelette. An American of Western omelette is easier and more manageable than the French, and much more beginner-friendly. Here you may or may not add milk into the mix.
We prefer not to add milk into this omelette type, since it will take longer to cook and can easily turn out too mushy. Or too rubbery if you try to cook off the extra moisture.
But if you want to add milk, this is the omelette that can take it. Add just one tablespoon of full fat milk for every 2 eggs, which thoroughly ad you’re goo to go.
This omelette is easier since all you have to do is let the eggs cook through, maybe stir every now and then. Once the bottom layer is cooked through and the top is starting to coagulate, you can fold it over and serve it. The middle will be soft but still cooked through.
What about omelettes without milk ?
Omelettes without milk are better, in our opinion. We’re aware each of us has a different opinion and taste, and this is ours. You can taste the eggs more clearly, and whatever toppings you’ve added. And if you cook the omelette at a low enough temperature (like medium-low) you can easily end up with a fluffy and moist breakfast.
Here’s what we usually use when making a delicious, filling omelette. This is for 2 people, with a side of toast.
- thoroughly whisk 4 eggs with salt, fresh pepper, a bit of onion powder
- melt a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick frying pan
- while butter melts crumble some white cheese, Cheddar, and smoked Gouda on the plate we serve the omelette on
- pour whisked eggs into the melted butter
- whisk the butter into the eggs on low heat
- stop whisking, add in the cheese and disperse them evenly across the pan (eggs are still runny)
- put a glass lid on top, set flame to medium-low
- tilt pan every other minute to get runny eggs to the edge so they cook
- let the omelette cook through on its own
- shake/jiggle the pan (lid still on) to see if the middle part is still soft
- the moment it coagulates we turn off the heat and slide the omelette onto a plate
And that’s it. Soft, fluffy omelette with no milk or water added. This does not work for French omelettes.
How to get perfectly soft and fluffy omelettes
There are a few things you can do to make sure your omelettes always end up light and fluffy. It takes a bit of experimenting and tinkering with different factors like heat and ingredients, but you can totally do it. Heat trumps every other item on this list. Too high, and the eggs will dry out. Too low and you get a soggy omelette. Aim for medium-low and you should be fine.
Don’t flip, cook it with a lid
For American omelettes try not to flip them. Preheat your pan, melt some butter, and pour in the egg mixture. Just eggs, no toppings or milk. Whisk the eggs a bit while they’re in the pan so you incorporate all that rich butter.
Then put a lid on the pan and do not touch it for about 5 minutes, or until the top looks like it’s no longer wet. If you have any toppings you want to add, add them before you put the lid on.
With the lid on, make sure to tilt the pan every now and then to get the runny eggs towards the edge so they cook through. A glass lid will help immensely.
The trick is that the steam released by the cooking omelette will cook the top part as well. If you’re adding cheese don’t worry, it will melt right into the eggs.
Add a creamy cheese like white cheese
When it comes to what kind of cheese to add, look for that beautiful white cheese that easily crumbles. It’s fine if it’s a little dry. You can try fresh or aged mozzarella, feta, halloumi, paneer, or queso blanco. These cheese types will become very soft and some will even met into your omelette. They have their own moisture, so it’s crucial to keep that lid on and wait for the top to cook on its own.
It will not be brown on the top, it will be soft and fluffy. If you try and cut it with a spatula it will stick to everything. You can fold it or leave it as-is and simply slide it onto a plate.
Sprinkle on some freshly chopped green onions and you’ve got the whole family asking for more.
Read Also: Omelette VS Frittata
Always whisk in the butter
Your omelette, French or American, will always end up better if you whisk in the melted butter. You can do this in a bowl or in the pan, but the point is to do it. Otherwise it won’t end up as creamy and fluffy, and you’ll get that rubbery texture you’re trying to avoid with milk.
Don’t be afraid of butter. You’re making an omelette, no need to think it can end up as a low-calorie food item. If you try and remove the extra fat it will just end up bland and boring. An omelette needs some butter, or at the very least some olive oil. Or both !
This way you don’t have to add milk, and you get a far superior flavor. Put a glass lid on it so you can accurately judge when it’s done, use medium-low heat, and it should be ready in about 5 minutes.