Nigella’s latest recipe: how to butter toast

Thought you knew how to make buttered toast? Think again.

Nigella Lawson has revealed her “double buttering” technique, which may just revolutionise your breakfast.

The television chef introduced viewers to “the Platonic ideal of toast” in her latest BBC Two series, Cook, Eat, Repeat.

“I favour the two-stage buttering approach,” she said, explaining that the perfect slice should be cut from a white sandwich loaf rather than the current foodie favourite, sourdough.

“The minute this [comes] out of the toaster, I spread it so that the butter has melted down into it and it will give it a fabulous, crumpet-y bite.” Wait until the toast has cooled, then move to stage two: slathering on more butter so that “it will stay in some golden patches on the surface”.

Rather than use salted butter, Lawson spreads a generous helping of unsalted but adds a sprinkle of sea salt.

Lawson’s recipe – hot on the heels of her fishfinger bhorta and banana skin curry – won the approval of her fans. “That Nigella Lawson knows what’s what when it comes to toast,” tweeted Felicity Cloake, the food writer.

Another viewer wrote: “I have always double buttered my toast, by spreading it, waiting for it to melt, then buttering it again. I have been ostracised and castigated for this. This is the ultimate vindication.”

Fellow chefs joined in by sharing with the Daily Telegraph their own recipes for the perfect slice, but none endorsed the double-buttering method.

Michael Caines, chef/patron of the Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor in Devon, said: “With the bread I like it thick-cut and toasted slow so it’s really crispy on the outside but soft inside, then butter once but generously with soft cultured butter from Ampersand Dairy and a sprinkle of Cornish sea salt.”

James Cochrane, the former Great British Menu winner and chef at London’s 12:51, said: “For me, buttering is a base. I always double spread, but butter only the first layer. I like to top with peanut butter – crunchy, obviously.”

Tom Brown, of Cornerstone in Hackney, offered advice on maintaining the perfect toast temperature. “You have to make sure the toast is hot for maximum butter. Top tip: keep the second piece of toast on top of the toaster while buttering the first one, to keep hot for more melting.”

Tom Aikens, of Muse in Belgravia, said: “Hot buttered toast is pretty unbeatable. As a kid and very, very occasionally now I’ll butter my toast as usual (generously) and then top the butter with Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Needless to say, my little girls love it that way too.”

Buttered toast ranks as the most basic of Lawson’s recipes, reviving memories of Delia Smith teaching the nation how to boil an egg in her 1999 book, How To Cook.

In her 2015 series, Simply Nigella, she demonstrated how to spread avocado on toast.

Baking sourdough has been a favoured pastime during lockdown this year, but Lawson said it required too much effort.

She said: “Every now and then I feel poised to become heavily involved in sourdough, and then I remind myself a sourdough starter needs so much attention. It’s a creature to be kept alive like a baby, and I’ve done that and I am not ready for the commitment again.

“Besides, sometimes I just want an old-fashioned sandwich loaf, soft and squidgy. It also happens to make the best toast in the world.”

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