# The formula for the perfect egg and soldiers requires ‘thermometer and ruler’

## The formula for the perfect egg and soldiers: Scientists say 4 minutes 15 seconds is the ideal amount of time to boil your egg, while white bread should be toasted for precisely 2 minutes 55 seconds

• Scientists worked out the best times for toasting the bread and boiling the egg
• For the egg you should put it in the pan for a total of four minutes and 15 seconds
• For the bread it should be toasted for exactly two minutes and 55 seconds

Egg and soldiers is a fairly basic meal, but for the ultimate dish you’ll need a measuring tape, a thermometer – and the ability to solve an equation.

Dr James Hind, a statistician from Nottingham University has come up with what he claims is the formula for the ultimate egg and soldiers.

His research suggests that the egg should be cooked for four minutes and 15 seconds and then plunged into cold water for exactly 57 seconds, before the small end is cut off and salted.

Meanwhile, the bread – which should be white – should be toasted for two minutes and 55 seconds, then cut into 0.8 inch wide soldiers and buttered.

Egg and soldiers is a fairly basic meal, but for the ultimate dish you’ll need a measuring tape, a thermometer – and the ability to solve an equation

Boiling an egg for four minutes and 15 seconds, and toasting the bread for two minutes and 55 seconds will create the ‘perfect egg and soldiers,’ study reveals. Stock image

### EQUATION FOR THE PERFECT EGG AND SOLDIERS

Statistician Dr James Hind of Nottingham University experimented with length of soldiers and cooking times to create his formula.

E = Egg, W = White bread, T = Toasted and S = Salt.

1. Boil the egg for exactly 4 minutes and 15 seconds
2. Plunge the egg in cold water for 57 seconds
3. Toast white bread for exactly 2 minutes and 55 seconds, before buttering
4. Cut the toast into 0.8 inch (2.1cm) wide soldiers
5. Cut the egg from the small end and lightly salt before serving

In research commissioned by British Lion Eggs, Dr Hind developed a formula based on what 1,500 survey respondents said they most commonly did when creating their perfect egg and soldiers.

He then experimented around these times to get the exact timings and measurements of the bread.

‘We cook the egg for a little over four minutes and half of us will dunk it in cold water for another minute,’ Dr Hind explained.

‘Most of us crack open the smaller end and add a little salt to the egg,’ he discovered, adding this worked best in testing.

‘We use white bread for the soldiers, which we toast for almost three minutes and cut a little over two centimetres wide,’ Dr Hind added.

‘Hopefully my formula will allow people up and down the country to perfect and enjoy the ultimate comfort food.’

It isn’t just Dr Hind who takes a scientific approach to making breakfast.

The survey found 85 per cent of British people believe that making perfect egg and soldiers is an ‘exact science’.

It revealed that 62 per cent of people insist crusts should be cut off the toast before it is buttered, and most use unsalted butter over salted.

And the majority of Brits claim that the egg should only ever be cracked open at the small end before the dipping commences.

They also asked people how the egg should be opened, with 37 per cent using a spoon and 32 per cent opting to slice the top with a knife.

His research suggests that the egg (E) should be cooked in boiling water (B) for four minutes and 15 seconds and then plunged into cold water (C) for exactly 57 seconds, before the small end is cut off and salted (S). Meanwhile, the bread – which should be white (W) – should be toasted (T) for two minutes and 55 seconds, then cut into 0.8 inch wide soldiers and buttered

‘The research into how to make the perfect soft-boiled egg reveals that there is a huge variety in how us Brits make it, but some trends are clear,’ said Dr Hind.

‘Overwhelmingly, we like our eggs to be runny, but not the whites,’ he added.

People love the dish for a variety of reasons, with 46 per cent saying it reminds them of their childhood and 34 per cent claiming that eating it is a comforting experience.

In fact, three in 10 believe that egg and soldiers is the perfect meal for any time of day, and 27 per cent said that it was a dish that always lifted the spirits.

The study also found that the events of the last 18 months has led to a resurgence of demand for the nostalgic dippy egg and soldiers dish, with 15 per cent of Brits saying they’ve been eating it more often since coronavirus lockdown.

Andrew Joret, Chairman of British Lion Eggs added: ‘We hope that the formula helps everyone to achieve this in their own cooking.’

### The best way to eat a Chocolate Digestive biscuit – according to science

With their crunchy biscuit base and luxurious chocolate topping, Chocolate Digestives have been favourites among biscuit lovers since they launched back in 1925.

But one question has been heavily debated about the biscuits – which way up should they be eaten?

Now, researchers from Oxford University believe they have settled the debate, and claim that you should pick up the biscuits with the chocolate side up, but flip them over before eating them.

The experts say this method allows the brain to register the chocolate coating, while flipping them before eating maximises the ‘oral-somatosensory experience’ of the chocolate melting on the tongue.

How to eat a chocolate digestive:

1. Remove the biscuit from the packet at room temperature

2. Bring it towards your mouth with the chocolate side facing up

3. As you go to take a bite, turn the biscuit over so the chocolate is facing down

4. Take a substantial bite with the chocolate directly hitting the tongue first

5. If you’re by yourself, eat initially with the mouth open to hear the crunching of the biscuit which makes the taste sensation more memorable

6. Chew slowly after the first few mouthfuls to maximise the full taste experience