Considering what a simple dish it is to make, there are fewer snacks more contentious than cheese on toast.
Do you toast the bread first? Grated cheese or slice it into chunks? Are you a Worcestershire sauce lover or a purist?
Here at HuffPost UK Lifestyle, we've even witnessed couples fight over the making of a cheesy slice.
In an effort to silence questions once and for all, a new standard has been set. The British Cheese Board (BCB) has just announced the formula for the perfect cheese on toast, tested and decided together with the Royal Society of Chemistry.
In June, the British Cheese Board asked members of the public to share their favourite cheese on toast recipes. They then whittled it down from 120 difference recipes and came up with a mathematical formula:
* thickness of the bread; equivalent to medium sliced
** equivalent to grill on a medium heat setting
For non-boffins, this means you take 50g of sliced hard cheese and place it on top of 10mm thick white bread. You then put this under a grill for four minutes, at a temperature of 115C, with the cheese on toast 18cm in distance from the grill.
We asked our HuffPostLifestyle users and this is what they said:
and slightly less helpfully:
But what type of cheese should you use?
Ruth Neale, Royal Society of Chemistry’s Science Executive, spoke to HuffPost UK Lifestyle and said: "We used cheddar cheese and found that white bread had the best taste results. Different cheeses have different melting points. There are 700 different cheeses in the UK and chemistry has an important role in making them. Blue cheeses have a fungus is injected in them.
"Emmental, my favourite, is injected with lactic acid and the holes are produced by carbon dioxide being released and producing bubbles. Crumbly cheese also has a different chemical structure which affects how it reacts to heat."
The winner of the best cheese toast recipe was Steve Tickle whose combination of Wensleydale cheese, mustard, spring onions and bacon, finished off with fresh mint and slices of Braeburn apple (!) was a unanimous favourite.
Serves up to four people
225g Wensleydale cheese (to note, other crumbly cheeses such as Cheshire, Lancashire or Caerphilly cheese would work just as well for this recipe)
4 rashers unsmoked back bacon
4 small spring onions
4 slices of white bread
1 teaspoon Coleman's English Mustard
Grating of Sussex Charmer (a cross between Cheddar and parmesan), or a British Mature Cheddar cheese
Mint leaves and thin slices of Braeburn apple to garnish
- Place crumbled cheese and 1 teaspoon of English Mustard in a non stick pan over a very low heat - the longer you render it the better the taste.
- Meanwhile, microwave (3-4 minutes. 800 watt on a piece of kitchen towel) or grill bacon, then cut into 1 inch squares (keep stirring the cheese so that it does not burn or stick).
- Add chopped spring onions to melted cheese together with chopped bacon and mix. Place the above on the hot toast, put under the grill for 30 seconds and then serve on a hot plate and enjoy!
- To make this dish even better add a teaspoon of grated Sussex Charmer cheese to the melt - don't over do this!
- Cover with some fresh washed mint leaves or ½ of a thinly sliced Braeburn apple.
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Don't Skimp On Ingredients
We know opting for all-purpose flour is the easiest option, but <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Alton-Brown-Tips-Perfect-Pancakes-2359986" target="_blank">Alton Brown swears</a> by mixing AP flour with cake flour for the best batter consistency. And who are we to argue with Alton Brown?
Don't Estimate The Ingredients
If you want perfectly fluffy pancakes, you'll have to <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-reviews/test-kitchen-blog/5-tips-for-making-perfect-pancakes" target="_blank">weigh your ingredients</a> to make sure the ratios are accurate. We know it takes a little more work, but it's worth it for better pancakes.
Don't Make The Batter In Advance
It might be tempting to have pancake batter ready to go whenever the urge should strike, but don't do this. Make the batter only right before you plan on cooking pancakes. If not, the flour will absorb <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-02-18/entertainment/0902160188_1_pancakes-maple-syrup-flour" target="_blank">too much liquid and thicken the batter</a>.
Don't Overbeat The Batter
We know your instinct is to get rid of all the lumps in the batter, but this is an <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Alton-Brown-Tips-Perfect-Pancakes-2359986" target="_blank">epic mistake</a>. Quickly whisk the batter just until the dry ingredients incorporate with the wet ones, and then stop. Even if you see lumps.
Don't Pour Oil Directly Into Pan
One of the reasons you have so many duds when making pancakes is because of uneven cooking. If you pour oil directly into the pan often times <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/cooking-questions-tips-00400000064986/page42.html" target="_blank">it will pool in some areas</a> while leaving other parts of the pan dry. (We've all seen this happen.) This creates uneven cooking which is all wrong for pancakes. They'll burn in some areas and be uncooked in others. Instead, apply oil with wadded paper towels.
Don't Overheat The Pan
Yes, you want the pan hot, but not too hot. Temperature is key to making good pancakes. If the pan is too hot or too cold, the pancakes will scorch or they won't rise. Go for a medium-high heat -- and don't be shy about turning it down if it feels too hot.
Don't Mess With The Pancakes
Once the pancake is cooking on the pan, <a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2012/02/tips_for_making_pancakes.php" target="_blank">give it some space</a>. Don't shake the pan or move the pancake because this gets in the way of it rising properly.
Don't Over-Flip The Pancakes
Only flip the pancake once. If you need to cheat a little while cooking them to make sure they're not burning, you can gently lift the pancake to take a look underneath. Over-flipping can cause your pancakes to deflate.
Don't Flip Before The Bubbles Burst
One of the easiest ways to know when to flip pancakes is to wait for bubbles to form and <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/make-pancakes-00000000002198/index.html" target="_blank">burst in the center.</a> Have faith that the pancake will let you know when it's ready to flip and you'll be rewarded with perfect pancakes.