Why you should never press cancel on a toaster – Correct way to make ‘golden-brown’ toast

This Morning: Phillip and James Martin clash over toast

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Toast is a British breakfast staple, but how it’s made is contentious. Similar to making a cup of tea, everyone has a preference when it comes to how ‘toasted’ the bread needs to be – with some enjoying it simply as warm bread, while others enjoy a charcoal crust. With more than 94.2 million slices eaten daily in the UK, there is a certain way to make the perfect slice of toast according to a couple of experts. 

Zoe McClean, a food technologist at Breville explained: “It is a real art to achieve that even golden brown tone, with a soft centre and a crunchy, crispy crust. 

“You need to make sure your toast is fully brown, with no white stripe at the top and keep an eye on the timer number to make sure the bread doesn’t overcook.

“And when you’re spreading butter, make sure it’s just the right amount as too much or too little will result in loss of crunch or too little moisture in the bread,” she told Femail. 

Scientists previously revealed the mathematical formula for a perfect slice of toast, showing that it is best cooked for exactly 216 seconds.

A team of researchers carried out a study which found the optimum thickness for the bread should be 14mm and the ideal amount of butter is 0.44 grams per square inch.

The recommended cooking time gives the slice a “golden-brown” colour and the “ultimate balance of external crunch and internal softness”.

It has the look of ‘builder’s tea’ and, crucially, the outside is 12 times crunchier than the middle.

To achieve this, the toaster dial should be set at number “five out of six” on a typical 900-watt appliance to produce a temperature of 154 degrees Celsius. 

Bread expert Dr Dom Lane, a consultant food researcher, spent one week toasting and tasting a staggering 2,000 slices for his research, in his bid to assist the nation’s toast eaters.

During his study, Dr Lane used a complex formula to help determine the toasting required to produce the perfect level of crispiness.

He found that 216 seconds was the exact amount of time needed to toast the outside to the desired level before the golden 12:1 exterior/interior crispiness ratio was lost.

As for what the best bread to toast is, Dr Lane discovered a pale, seeded, loaf, taken fresh from the fridge at a temperature of three degrees Celsius produced the best toast. 

Both sides of the bread should be cooked at the same time, using a toaster rather than a grill, to help “curtail excessive moisture loss”.

It should then be buttered as soon as it pops up before the slice loses the heat required to melt the spread. 

One thing you should never do is cancel the cooking. 

It’s extremely tempting to press the cancel button and check on the toast’s colour. 

But this leads to putting the toast back into the same cycle, often cooking it for longer than necessary, resulting in burnt toast. 

Another way to ensure your bread doesn’t burn is by cleaning the toaster. 

Every piece of bread put into the toaster leaves crumbs behind and they can slowly clog the toaster up and start to burn. 

Simply remove the tray under the toaster and empty the crumbs. 

Alternatively, turn the toaster upside down and shake it. 

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