Am I the only one who knows how to properly toast bread into a work of art? Toasting is simple, fun and addictive and you can do it with a $9.99 toaster (or a $9.00 toaster if you’re a man). The first rule of toasting is to turn up the heat high enough and long enough so the toast changes color to a golden earthiness and changes texture to a crusty crunch on the outside while the inner mantle is still moist and soft: You want brown edges and tanned face.
There are too many people in my life who, when they make toast, turn the heat down so low on the toaster they are actually creating a dry, stale, day-old shingle out of delicious, fresh-baked, bread. We have no idea why this happens but we are disappointed when we are presented with toast meant for park pigeons and not for people. We understand the dry-bread approach to toasting is faster than the crunchy, golden road, but we believe it is better to serve virgin bread than to toast without commitment.
Before you add something to a properly crusted toast you need to wait a moment or two for the face to cool down just a wee bit. That way, whatever you add to your toast — butter, margarine, Nutella, jelly, preserves, jam, peanut butter, Vegemite — will gently ooze in a pool atop the bread without actually penetrating the crusty barrier you worked so hard to create. If you add the topping to your hot toast too fast, you will destroy the crunch with melting moisture that makes a soggy experience.
That is almost as bad as creating day-old bread from a perfectly soft and cushy slice of fresh manna. If, however, you wait too long for the toast to cool, you will shatter the new crusty golden layer with whatever you are spreading over your new masterpiece. You must time the toast’s readiness to accept spreading and you do it with a stopwatch and your finger. The stopwatch is used to give you an average time for future reference while your finger immediately tests for the proper temperature of the toast.
You know the toast is ready for accepting when your finger no longer burns on the surface. Your spread better be ready! You have less than two seconds to add a topping before it will rip into the cooling core. Here are the best breads for toasting:
2. 12 Grain Whole Wheat
3. Jewish Rye
4. Any heavy bread You must never use white bread for toast.
White bread, when toasted, becomes sugary and brittle and it burns black instead of toasting into a crunchy gold.