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Talking toast


Fat Guy
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I had a housemate from Hereford, and I recall he said that he let the toast stand for a moment before buttering it so that it would crisp up. It seems like a trivial thing to remember after 20-odd years, but it was so surprising at the time, I haven't forgotten it.

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Ahh, AGA toast.

For those who don't know, AGA toast is made using the AGA toaster http://www.agacookshop.co.uk/tools/aga-tools/aga-toaster.html

sandwiched between the boiling plate at 800F/450C and its insulating cover. Its almost contact grilling. It makes toast crip on the outside, but soft in the middle like no other. I guess you might make something similar on a flatplate or flat griddle covered with a heavy pre preheated lid.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Some days I just find it easier and better to fry my bread in a little butter. After that, I might add an egg or peanut butter on top.

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Why is toast always better in the UK than in the US? Except, why in the UK do they so often intentionally cool their toast?

My scottish gran, bless her heart, said it was so that the butter wouldn't melt, and thus you'd get perfect crispiness along with the marmalade, and nothing gets on your fingers while eating it (by dint, I think, of the toast not being saturated by butter). Then again, she used to spread 1/4" of butter followed by a thin skim of marmalade.

What are the criteria for judging good toast? Is it supposed to be crunchy all the way through, or is it supposed to be crispy on the surface but soft inside?

Crisp surface, chewy center (not soft). The best toast, IMHO, is golden-brown on the faces and hot all the way through. I toast on a dry cast-iron griddle - toasters hate me, and the feeling is mutual.

What's the best bread for toast?

Whatever's not perfectly fresh. In my house, that's usually nice slabs of foccaccia, but sometimes it's nice, dense pumpernickel bagels.

What else do we need to settle?

What's the best method of producing toast the way you like it toasted?

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I think we are missing a very important question:

How thick should the toast be?

On the one hand, you can have an extremely crisp, extremely thin piece of bread, perfect for soaking up liquids like sauce or egg yolk. Because it is so thin, the liquid can easily suffuse the entire thickness of the toast and because of the crispiness, it doesn't get instantly soggy.

On the other hand a thick slice is perfect for building an open sandwich on, it's thickness makes it extremely sturdy as a base and allows for a nice contrast between the crispiness of the outside and the chewy bread within.

And this is not even talking about things like toasties and panini's, I have like 2 notebooks full of experiments and observations about toast and pressed toast sandwiches...

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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Ahh, AGA toast.

For those who don't know, AGA toast is made using the AGA toaster http://www.agacookshop.co.uk/tools/aga-tools/aga-toaster.html

sandwiched between the boiling plate at 800F/450C and its insulating cover. Its almost contact grilling. It makes toast crip on the outside, but soft in the middle like no other. I guess you might make something similar on a flatplate or flat griddle covered with a heavy pre preheated lid.

You can get a similar result on a sandwich grill, with the heat control turned up all the way. You need a "sturdy" bread that won't collapse under the weight of the top.

I like to toast crusty French bread and crumpets using this method.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Ahh, AGA toast.

For those who don't know, AGA toast is made using the AGA toaster http://www.agacookshop.co.uk/tools/aga-tools/aga-toaster.html

sandwiched between the boiling plate at 800F/450C and its insulating cover. Its almost contact grilling. It makes toast crip on the outside, but soft in the middle like no other. I guess you might make something similar on a flatplate or flat griddle covered with a heavy pre preheated lid.

You can get a similar result on a sandwich grill, with the heat control turned up all the way. You need a "sturdy" bread that won't collapse under the weight of the top.

I like to toast crusty French bread and crumpets using this method.

Another way you can do this is with an oven heated toastie weight, it's basically a cast iron or ceramic brick heated up in the oven, you place the toast on a hot pan and simple press the weight on top of it. Though as you can imagine it also compresses the toast quite a bit, I prefer to use it on very thick slices of very fluffy bread, it crisps up the outsides perfectly and when done the bread fluffs up back quite a bit, it gives it a rather unique texture.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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Or, for the low, low price of $29.90, you can have this: http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Bread-Toaster-Company-jesus247/dp/B0042QRYO8 :laugh:

I love collecting "unusual" toasters, Special K. However, this one goes a bit beyond what I consider collectible. Also, I am not now the least bit religious. (At least not since I gave up showing dogs.)

I've been off and on thinking about acquiring this visible toaster.

But as yet, I am not convinced that this, newly introduced to the U.S., toaster is totally reliable in providing an evenly-toasted product. (I'm also waiting for the price to drop. In the past I have been a bit miffed when I purchased something new, "exclusive" at W-S, only to see it offered at a substantial discount a few months later.

I do love toast in all its myriad forms and in whatever way it achieves that perfect degree of golden brown toastiness. I have enjoyed toast that was toasted in a fireplace, on a toasting fork, and toast in every kind of electric toaster, oven toast and stovetop (gas) toast which utilized one of these.

Many years ago, prior to home computers and the internet, I wrote an essay about toast and toasters for a writing class. Since Steven began this topic, I have been digging through my file cabinets, looking for it but with no luck, so far.

I can happily eat toast for every meal and for between meal snacks. I like it thick, regular and thin and I like Melba toast (homemade) and have a long list of desirable things with which toast may be anointed. I can't really identify a "favorite" because that can change with the seasons or with my mood or what type of tea I choose to drink.

I do get through a lot of butter and a fair amount of Rose's Lime Marmalade but there is also the lure of homemade apple butter, pumpkin and pecan butter, peach butter and etc., with the occasional side trip into the curds: Lemon, lime, strawberry and etc.

There are times when nothing is as satisfying as a wall of toast soldiers, surrounding a soft-boiled or poached egg, ready to dip into a runny yolk. At those times I feel that toast has achieved its zenith.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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There are times when nothing is as satisfying as a wall of toast soldiers, surrounding a soft-boiled or poached egg, ready to dip into a runny yolk. At those times I feel that toast has achieved its zenith.

Bravo! That sounds like a line out of a food romance novel!

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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OOOOO! That would be perfect for my geeky husband!

I have one of these - Eiffel Tower "French Toast" stampers. It doesn't work very well. But then again, I tried it on multigrain brown bread - maybe it'll work better on squishy white bread....

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I'm suprised how no one here has brought up toast racks. I have been in love with them since I first visited Ireland, where they were a quite common. I hate the damp fog created by a slice of hot toast on the plate, and the toast rack eliminate it completely. Of course they can hasten cooling if you allow them to, or not really help with crisping much if they are solid and ceramic.

But dear Aunt would warm her metal filligree rack, adding the toasted bread two by two until is was filled and ready to pull out of her warm oven using an oven mitt.

I have been searching for one like hers for ages! Most have too little metal seperating the pieces, and would be useless in the oven. I will find it, and then I will also use for my waffles. I hate soggy.

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Most have too little metal seperating the pieces, and would be useless in the oven.

Couldn't you replicate that by thickening the walls with liberal application of tinfoil?

Edited by Deus Mortus (log)

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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This one from Sur la Table can go in the oven (on a baking sheet) and if you want crisp toast, you want as little contact as possible with the dividers.

Chef's Catalog has this one that can be used for toast or waffles.

Last fall I saw some at Cost Plus - The wire dividers were shaped like tea pots and there was a tiny teapot on the finial. They matched some tiered cake and muffin trays, also with a teapot theme.

They may have only had them for the holiday sales, but if you are near a store, you can check.

They show up on eBay all the time. You don't want a ceramic one.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If you want to avoid a) soggy toast on a plate and b) cold toast in a rack, the solution is simple: As soon as your toast pops up, you lay it horizontally on top of the toaster, across the toast slots. The hot air rising from the slots will dry it out and keep it warm.

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If you want to avoid a) soggy toast on a plate and b) cold toast in a rack, the solution is simple: As soon as your toast pops up, you lay it horizontally on top of the toaster, across the toast slots. The hot air rising from the slots will dry it out and keep it warm.

Or you can get one of these. Although I don't recommend it. I got one a year or so ago and immediately returned it because something was loose inside and there was a significant dent on this supposedly new appliance.

I got a Breville and am happy with it (mainly for long bread slices, etc.

Or one of these. Also not recommended - a friend has one, not happy at all with it.

Delonghi makes one but I personally have not been happy with any Delonghi appliance in recent years.

Krups also makes one but I have not heard anything about it, just that it is now available in the U.S. at Golda's Kitchen.

The Bodum Bistro toaster is said to have a built-in warming rack but I have not been able to find a single photo that shows it in use.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If you want to avoid a) soggy toast on a plate and b) cold toast in a rack, the solution is simple: As soon as your toast pops up, you lay it horizontally on top of the toaster, across the toast slots. The hot air rising from the slots will dry it out and keep it warm.

Or you can get one of these. Although I don't recommend it. I got one a year or so ago and immediately returned it because something was loose inside and there was a significant dent on this supposedly new appliance.

I got a Breville and am happy with it (mainly for long bread slices, etc.

Or one of these. Also not recommended - a friend has one, not happy at all with it.

Delonghi makes one but I personally have not been happy with any Delonghi appliance in recent years.

Krups also makes one but I have not heard anything about it, just that it is now available in the U.S. at Golda's Kitchen.

Wow, thank you so much! I ove the look of that Krups! I have to say, I am such a fied of the crisp I'm likelt to get that toaster- as well as the toast rack of of my dreams!

One of these days.... *sigh*

The Bodum Bistro toaster is said to have a built-in warming rack but I have not been able to find a single photo that shows it in use.

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The Bodum Bistro toaster is said to have a built-in warming rack but I have not been able to find a single photo that shows it in use.

Does this show it?

No, that is the flatbed toaster.

The Bodum Bistro

Is a stylish toaster but not made for long slices of artisan bread (or sheepherder, etc.) unless you cut the slice in half.

It comes in several colors, as well as chrome but I have checked on numerous sites, including Bodum's and none show the Warming rack/Bun warmer in operation.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have pretty much the cheapest toaster I could find, only spending a 3 extra euro's for a crumble tray and after I used it a bit and got used to which setting did what, I have been making pretty good toast, what do the more expensive models offer in ways of improvements?

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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The Bodum Bistro toaster is said to have a built-in warming rack but I have not been able to find a single photo that shows it in use.

Does this show it?

No, that is the flatbed toaster.

The Bodum Bistro

Is a stylish toaster but not made for long slices of artisan bread (or sheepherder, etc.) unless you cut the slice in half.

It comes in several colors, as well as chrome but I have checked on numerous sites, including Bodum's and none show the Warming rack/Bun warmer in operation.

Check this one out. Purple toaster seems to show a toast rack above it.

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Thanks Kerry.

It doesn't look too substantial. It's cute but not enough different to add to my collection.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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My dualit isn't a bad toast maker as the timer even allows for a little cooling but when I can be bothered the best toast I make is under the gas grill or on the griddle.

As for UK toast, the pre sliced mass produced bread in the UK is particularly poor and damp so actually it becomes more than suitable for toasting. Crisp on the outside soft and chewy on the inside, if you don't allow sufficient cooling the butter just makes it soggy hence the use of toast racks.

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