The Best Toast You'll Ever Eat Doesn't Even Require A Toaster

Photo: Courtesy of Food52.

By Kristen Miglore

There are those things we eat, make, read, and gush over that are just too good to keep to ourselves. Here, we resist the urge to use too many exclamation points and let you in on our latest crushes.

Today: The best way to make toast, period. (You won't need a toaster.)

I get a lot of: "This is the best toast I've ever had." Of course it is. Because I fried it in olive oil.

The Genius Recipes cookbook, which I spent most of last year working on, was written, naturally, on genius recipe-testing leftovers — fried chicken, vegetables of all stripes, things that make sense for dinner. But, the book was edited (and edited and edited) on fried toast and cookie cereal, the two most instantaneously comforting meals I know.

Related: 13 Weekday Breakfast Recipes

Without employing a toaster, you can make toast that browns exceptionally evenly and quickly, every edge and crevice frizzled into what is essentially a very large crouton. The outer edges stiffen with hot crunch; the interior gets chewy and warm.
Photo: Courtesy of Food52.

You can vary the amount of oil according to your mood (when you are feeling empty, you'll need a good quarter inch), and you can use any kind of bread you like. I'm partial to a crusty, airy sourdough like She Wolf Bakery's, but there's nothing wrong with plain sandwich bread. The nubby texture of seeded multigrain slices responds well to hot oil, too.

To make it, get the oil hot, add your bread, peek, flip when it's brown, peek again, remove when the other side is brown. This takes about 3 minutes.
Photo: Courtesy of Food52.

The classic fried toast doesn't need anything but flaky salt, but with these seven variations, you can eat fried toast all the time!

• Make a fried bread panzanella, another idea I stole from Roman's, where they once served theirs with cucumber and pickle chunks and half a crisp, roast chicken plunked on top, in the manner of Zuni Café (it's nice to set this much richness against something crisp and acidic).

• Layer it with pumpkin butter, honey, or jam.

• Cinnamon fried toast.

• Even I can admit that avocado fried toast is a little much, but it's by no means off the table.

• Add stewed beans or lentils, like the British, and also Roman's. Optional fried egg.

• Top it with Heidi Swanson's pan-fried beans and greens.

• Turn it into a multi-grain breakfast, like Sitka & Spruce in Seattle, where they serve it topped with farro, beans, pumpkin purée, and a poached egg.

Next: Weekday Waffles With Maple-Blueberry Butter

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