West Loop bakery's dough lends itself to unique breakfast idea during stay-at-home order

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing families to stay at home, and while delivery or take-out might be an option, it's just not possible for every meal.

That's why our Hungry Hound has been cooking more than ever. He thought he'd share some of his favorites, including a breakfast sandwich his kids have loved for 20 years.

You can get delivery for lunch or dinner, but breakfast usually means you're on your own. Cereal, oatmeal and granola are fine, but they get old after awhile.

The breakfast sandwich is jokingly called the "McSteven," as a wink and a nod to the Chicago-based, multinational fast food giant. It is a biscuit, bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, but it's a little bit more than that because of the quality of the ingredients.

It all starts with the biscuit, which is very important. You can use store-bought biscuits, but you can also support local businesses like Aya Pastry in West Town.

It's typically a wholesale bakery that supplied a lot of restaurants before the outbreak. But in the last two weeks or so it's been converted to a full retail operation.

Aya Fukai makes fantastic biscuit dough from scratch, almost every day, and she'll sell it frozen.

"We roll it out, we punch them, we egg wash them for you; they have a little bit of sea salt on top," Fukai said. "So we have a really high-quality butter called Plugra butter, and we're able to use that to create the flakiness of the biscuit and we also use the folding technique to get the layers in there."

A box of four biscuits is about $9. Use the parchment paper that comes with as a liner for the baking sheet, and then put on the frozen biscuit dough.

They go into a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 minutes, and you're going to turn them one time halfway through the baking.

You can use American or cheddar cheese. Crack an egg into a bowl that's about the diameter of the biscuit, add a little salt and pepper, mix it up with a fork, then cover with a paper towel and put it into a microwave for about 45 to 50 seconds.

Another easy trick is covering applewood smoked bacon with paper towels, putting it on a plate and putting it in the microwave for about three-and-a-half to four minutes. It cooks perfectly, with the paper towels absorbing the fat, and there's no mess.

Let the biscuits cool a little bit before you handle them, then split one open and place on the cheese. Tear the corners off because you don't want it to get messy all over the baking sheet.

Then add the egg, which is in a perfect shape right from the bowl, then strips of bacon and a little bit more cheese.

Put the sandwich back into the oven for just maybe two minutes until that cheese melts, and it'll be ready to go.

You could even sub-out the biscuits for thick-cut sourdough bread, rubbed with butter on the outside, then heated in a pan, like a grilled cheese.

Aya Pastry
1332 W. Grand Ave.
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