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The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And what better way to mark the most important meal than with the mac daddy of morning treats: the breakfast sandwich. Before you're all "Yeah, duh, breakfast sandwiches are great," make our recipe. Because when it comes to carbs (and cheese), great can always be made greater.

Makes 1 sandwich

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 bagel, sliced in half horizontally

3 slices ham

 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Dash of hot sauce

1 egg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium-size oven-safe sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the bottom half of the bagel to the pan, sliced side down. Cook until the bagel is nicely toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, sliced side up.

3. Top the bottom half of the bagel with the ham, then top the ham with the cheese and a dash of hot sauce. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the ham is warm and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. If the hole of the bagel is very small, use a small knife to widen it--ideally to about 1½ inches, but no need to be exact. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan. Place the top half of the bagel, sliced side down, in the pan.

5. Crack the egg into the hole of the bagel and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the white is set but the yolk is still slightly jiggly, 3 to 4 minutes. Season the egg with salt and pepper.

6. Remove the bottom half of the bagel from the oven and top with the top half. Serve immediately.

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