• ½ tsp salt
• 1 tsp white vinegar
• 4 eggs
• Thickly sliced toast, to serve
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to serve
• The fresher your eggs, the better! The eggwhite is firmer and less likely to break away from the yolk during cooking.
• Use a slotted spoon. This makes it easier to remove the eggs from the water and reduces the risk of breaking the yolk. The small holes allow excess water to drain away.
• Vinegar helps the eggwhites set quickly into a mass, rather than dispersing through the water. As a result, the eggs form a round shape.
• It’s important to add salt to the water as it helps to set the whites. It also adds flavour to the egg.
• Putting the poached eggs on paper towel helps absorb excess water. This way, when you put your eggs on your toast, it won’t go soggy.
• If cooking eggs for a large group of people, you can prepare everything before they arrive. Poach the eggs, but cook them for a slightly shorter time than as directed in this recipe. Plunge the cooked eggs into a bowl of iced water, then refrigerate them in a bowl of water. When you’re ready, put the cold eggs into a large frying pan of simmering water and cook for about two minutes or until eggs are heated through.
Pour water into a large wide frying pan or saucepan to 5cm-deep. Put over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a low (so there are a few small bubbles breaking on the surface). Add salt and white vinegar.
Break 1 egg into a cup. Use a spoon to swirl water in pan, creating a vortex, then carefully slide egg into water. The egg will swirl, forming a circular shape.
Repeat with remaining eggs. Poach, in 2 batches, for about 2 minutes for a runny yolk, 3 minutes for a soft yolk and 4 minutes for a firm yolk.
Line a plate with paper towel. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to prepared plate to drain. If there are any stringy-looking pieces of eggwhite, cut them off using a small knife.
Serve poached eggs on toast, seasoned with salt and pepper.