A friend of mine invented the term 'wangy', a very accurate word to describe what 90% of the world's catering establishments call toast.
It's a good word because we're all absolutely familiar with what it's saying - cold, leathery, bendy little triangles that arrive at breakfast when you are asked 'Would you like some toast?' So I've been thinking, as this is a basic cookery course, why not give the world the definitive recipe for perfect toast? To begin with, I am not a disciple of automatic toasters. The ones I've experienced all seem to be a bit hit and miss, and if you're rather inept at slicing bread (like me), then they're not very helpful at all because if the bread is slightly wonky, a) it probably won't go in the toaster at all, and , b) if it does, one bit ends up not being toasted at all while the other bit is giving off nasty black smoke signals!
You can now watch how to make Perfect Toast in our Cookery School 'Bread for Beginners' Term - Recipes with Bread - in the video lesson below.
This recipe is from Delia's Complete How to Cook.
The key to slicing bread is, with a sharp serrated knife; use gentle, rapid sawing movements and not to push down too hard on the loaf.
For toast, cut the bread into slices about 1cm thickness. The crusts can be on or off, depending on how you like them. Pre-heat the grill for at least 10 minutes before making the toast, turning it to its highest setting. Place the bread on the grill rack and position the tray 10cm from the heat source. Allow the bread to toast on both sides to your own preferred degree of pale or dark golden brown.
While that’s happening, keep and eye on it and don’t wander far away. When the toast is done, remove it immediately to a toast rack. Why a toast rack? Because they are a brilliant invention. Freshly made toast contains steam, and if you place it in a vertical position, in which the air is allowed to circulate, the steam escapes and the toast becomes crisp and crunchy. Putting it straight on to a plate means the steam is trapped underneath, making it damp and soggy. If you don’t posses a toast rack, you really ought to invest in a modest one. Failing that, stand your toast up against a jar or something similar for about 1 minute before serving.
Always eat toast as soon as possible after that, and never make it ahead of time. Never ever wrap it in a napkin or cover it (the cardinal sin of the catering trade), because the steam gets trapped and the toast goes soggy. Always use good bread, because the better the bread the better the toast. It is also preferable if the bread is a couple of days old.
Equipment: A sharp serrated knife, click here for details