Why You Don’t Need a Toaster to Make Great Toast

published Sep 9, 2014
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(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

In any typical New York-size apartment it’s important to prioritize your appliances. While toast is a popular addition to my weekend breakfasts and midday snacks, I have never owned a toaster in the eight years I’ve lived in the city. Even if I were to move into a larger place outside of New York, however, I wouldn’t consider purchasing a toaster, because the best toast I have ever had is actually made on the stovetop. Here’s how I do it at home.

The key? The stove.

Putting bread on a hot pan isn’t rocket science, nor is it new. There are, however, a few clever tricks that make non-toaster toast that much better than your normal breakfast accoutrement.

Start With the Bread

Toaster or not, the most important thing to consider when you want to make excellent toast is the bread. The best bread will always make the best toast. I’ve been tearing through loaves of sourdough from She Wolf Bakery in New York as it always make exceptional toast.

The Stovetop Method: 2 Ways

There are two ways to make great stovetop toast: low and slow, or high and fast. This all depends on the type of bread you are using.

  1. Rustic loaves like thick-cut sourdough are best for the low and slow method so you get that crisp outside and chewy inside.
  2. Fluffy breads like challah are best for the high and fast method so you get the caramelized outside but maintain a fluffier center.

I’ll give you the method I use for low and slow toast below. For the faster method, follow the instructions below, but crank up the heat and flip the bread after a minute.

How To Make Slow and Low Stovetop Toast

What You Need

For the slow and low method you need:

  • A big pan
  • A small heavy lid (or heavy plate)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of butter
  • One thick slice of bread.

The Method

Put the burner on low heat, and melt some butter in a pan. When the butter is melted put your bread in the pan and make sure it sops up some of the butter.

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Put a heavy lid on top of the bread and let the bread sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Then take off the lid, flip the bread make sure it gets some of that extra butter, and put the lid back on for at least 2 to 3 minutes.

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

And that’s it! The best toast I have ever had, and it doesn’t even require a fancy toaster. Have you ever made toast like this?

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)