There’s something about a well-toasted piece of bread: one of life’s simple pleasures. When I was working on recipes for a cooking website, the first one I made (complete with photos) was for Vegemite Toast. Sure, it may seem a simple thing, but in my travels, I’ve seen even such a simple recipe butchered… too much vegemite; the toast destroyed by rough scraping; the toast overcooked, or too dry.
I’m also in favour of finding out how someone likes their toast – it’s a sign of respect to deliver it just so, if time permits. If you’re making breakfast for four people at once, and the toast is just a side-dish to the main event, that’s one thing, but if you’re trying to cheer up an ill friend, then it’s the little things that matter.
For me, I would err on the side of too light – the bread should be crisp, and preferably have changed colour, but I’d rather have the bread still have some of its original character than have a solid, near-burned piece. But that’s just me.
After years of wrestling with an old toaster, I now have a new one: it has a cancel button on it – not an eject button, but a cancel button, and a defrost setting. It makes a whirring sound when you turn it on, so you know that it’s actually started to heat up. I still haven’t figured out quite how long to give it, or why it doesn’t seem to toast the bread evenly, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
The strangest toaster I ever used was one that my grandmother owned. It would cook two pieces of toast at once, but there were no slots at the top. Instead, it was shaped like a capital A, and the bread would sit on either side of the A, with the heating element in the centre. (Something like this old hotpoint toaster). The trouble was, it would make soggy toast: the bread would change colour, but the inside wasn’t crisp. An odd experience. More on Old Toasters.
How do you make your toast?