Jamie Oliver and Delia Smith reveal their tips to cooking the best slice of toastDecember 7, 2018
WHO doesn’t crave the perfect slice of toast?
University Hospital Southampton faced ridicule this week for issuing a two-page poster with guidance on how to make toast.
But loads of books, guides and internet threads are devoted to getting it right.
We bring you the recipe for perfect toast according to two telly chefs.
And some people claim you can tell a lot about someone’s personality by how burnt they like their toast.
Here’s our salute to this timeless and tasty kitchen favourite.
The perfect slice
- Thickness 14mm
- Toast for 216 seconds at 154C, setting 5 or 6 on a 900w toaster
- 0.44g butter per square inch
- Colour like builder’s tea
- The outside is 12 times crunchier than the middle
Pan-fry like… Jamie Oliver
- PUT a slice in a hot, dry non-stick pan and cook for 90 seconds on each side or until golden and crisp. I judge it by smell.
- After I have toasted one side, I like to turn it over and put something heavy on the bread, such as a bottle of HP Sauce, to flatten it. That ensures the entire surface area is toasted for maximum crunch.
- Get the butter on straight away. Make sure the butter is at room temperature. It’s a pain if your toast goes cold while you are trying to spread it.
- How I cut toast depends on my mood. I like soldiers if I feel nostalgic or if I have an egg to dip into. Cutting the toast into rectangles is belt-and-braces when I am in a rush. If I want to be more upmarket, I cut it into triangles.
- Don’t cut off the crusts because it’s a waste and most of the nutrients of any bread are in the crust.
The facts of loaf
- Toast dates back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests it originated with the Egyptians
- Record time for eating a dry slice set in 2014 at 8.47 secs
- We eat 94million slices of toast every day
- National Toast Day is held on February 22
- Created as a way of preserving bread, it became a popular practice in the Roman Empire. The word “toast” comes from the Latin “torrere” or “tostum”, meaning to burn or scorch
MOST READ IN FABULOUS FOOD
Rack ’em up like… Delia Smith
- SLICE the bread as follows. With a sharp serrated knife, use gentle but rapid sawing movements and don’t push down too hard on the loaf. For toast, cut the bread into slices about 1cm thick. Leave the crusts on or slice them off – the choice is yours.
- Preheat the grill for at least ten minutes before making the toast, turning it up to its highest setting. Place the bread on the grill rack and position the tray 10cm from the heat source. Allow the bread to toast on both sides to your own preferred degree, from pale to a dark golden-brown.
- Keep an eye on it and don’t wander far away. When the toast is done, remove it at once and place in a toast rack.
- Freshly made toast contains steam and if you place it in a vertical position, which lets the air circulate, the steam escapes and the toast becomes crisp and crunchy. Putting it straight on to a plate traps the steam underneath, making it damp and soggy.
- Eat your toast as soon as it is ready – and never make it ahead of time. Don’t wrap it in a napkin or cover it, as steam will get trapped and make the toast soggy. Spread with your chosen topping.
The electric toaster
THE first electric toaster was invented in 1893 by Scottish scientist Alan MacMasters in London. He called the device the Eclipse and it was manufactured and marketed in Britain by the Crompton Company. It toasted only one side of the bread, so you had to flip it over manually.
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