The perfect poached egg
Fill your pan with water ensuring there's enough to cover the egg. Bring the water to the boil using full heat.
While the water is boiling you can prepare everything else: put the kettle on, add your coffee or tea to the cup (or prepare the cafetiére), get the milk and butter from the fridge, grab 2 slices of the finest bread (or cut your own) and put them in the toaster, get your plate and cuttlery ready and make sure the salt and pepper grinders are to hand along with some good quality vinegar (optional).
It's got to be a free-range egg
Water is boiling
Crack the egg at the thin end to avoid breaking the yolk
Whack the toast on
2) Get cooking
Right, you're all set. The water should now be bubbling away furiously. Add a splash of vinegar (if you prefer) which will apparently help to bind the egg. After opening the egg, pour it carefully into the centre of the bubbling water. This is where my method differs to much publicised "lid and no heat" methods.
Now put the toast on and then monitor the egg water which briefly will have come off the boil. As it returns to the boil, turn the heat down so the water is barely simmering. Your kettle should have boiled by now so now's a good time to make the cuppa.
Now the magic bit, when the toast pops up, take the egg out of the pan using a flat, non-stick slotted spatular and you'll find it's perfectly cooked!
Gently coax it off the bottom of the pan and slide it onto a bread board (not a cold plate). Now butter your toast which gives the water on the egg time to evapourate. Put the toast on the plate and the egg on the toast. Take your knife and make an incision in the yolk and fold back the 'lid'. A few turns of the pepper and salt mill seasons the egg nicely - including the yolk. Perfect!
The perfect poached egg on toast