“Mom, I have less than five minutes. If I wait any longer then I’ll be late for school. Will you give me something to eat or should I leave?”
I do not know about you, but this statement above has become a story in my household. I have figured out the perfect solution that works for my family. But whenever I visit cooking forums, the questions I come across make it seem like the question regarding ‘what one can prepare in less than five minutes’ remains unattended. That’s what inspired me to create this post.
Of course, the answer to the question is “perfectly and evenly toasted slices.” And in this post, we’re going to look at how you can prepare them, using your toaster oven, and also include a bonus section that details how you can pick the best bread to get the best results.
How to make toast in a toaster oven
Pick your bread wisely
As I just pointed out, we’ll touch on this point more in-depth in the next section, so this step will assume that you’ve already acquired your favorite loaf and you are ready to start toasting.
Plug in your toaster oven
If you’re using a regular toaster oven, then chances are it will require a short period to preheat. My old toaster oven needed around a minute to preheat, so prepare yours as required before putting in your slices of bread.
If you are using one of the best convection toaster ovens, on the other hand, then it won’t need a preheat period because the inbuilt fan will blow hot air around inside the appliance to ensure fast and even results.
Place your slices on the oven rack
If your toaster oven retailed with an oven rack or baking tray, then place your slices of bread on the accessories and put it into the toaster oven. Also, if the toaster oven model you’re using has multiple rack positions for improved flexibility, place the rack on the highest position that’s the closest to the top heating elements.
The goal while preparing toasts is to expose the slices to a high heat intensity for a short period of time so the outside can come out crusty, but the inside remains soft and warm. With that in mind, after placing in your slices in the toaster oven and closing the glass door, set the timer and temperature required to deliver the best results (of course, this depends on the type of bread you are using and how crispy you’d like your toasts to be.)
As beginners, you’re advised to set a slightly lower temperature, so your bread doesn’t get burnt. This way, if it comes out not sufficiently toasted, you can simply put it back and toast it some more. If you set a higher temperature level and the bread slices come out burnt, however, then there won’t be anything you can really do about it. The second option is watching the slices through your toaster oven’s glass door. When you notice that they have been nicely browned to your liking, but the timer hasn’t run out, you can simply switch off the toaster oven and retrieve your slices.
Rotate the slices
Remember, only the top side of your slice is getting toasted. The bottom side facing the pan isn’t getting any heat. With that in mind, halfway through the toasting process, open the toaster oven’s glass door, rotate the slice, close the door, and toast the 2nd side for the same period you had toasted the other side.
Time to eat
When your toasties have been evenly toasted on both sides, retrieve them and enjoy your delicacy. Also, remember to unplug the toaster oven and tuck it away safely on your kitchen counter.
Choosing the perfect type of bread
As I promised at the beginning of the post, I included a short guide detailing how you can choose the best bread type for your home’s breakfast toasties.
Start by trying regular sandwich loaves of bread
Whether rye, wheat, or white, conventional soft sandwich slices of bread make the perfect toasts. I think one of the reasons is that they are always pre-sliced, which in turn results in uniform toasties that are perfect for making crunchy sandwiches or acting as sides to other breakfast dishes.
Note, however, soft white bread slices and similar sandwich loaves usually toast way faster compared to hearty loaves of bread. So, watch them closely through your toaster oven’s glass door to make sure they do not get overburnt.
Do not be afraid to experiment with denser loaves
If the basic, old white toasties are not doing it for you, then why not try working with denser crusty bread slices that will yield chewier toasties with crispy edges. If you live in close proximity to a local bakery or big mall, you can head to it and find round loves that you can slice into two halves and toast.
Rest assured the results will leave you in awe.
Consider the following loaves:
- Brown bread
- Multi-grain or nine-grain loaves of bread
- Raisin loaves
- Baguettes or French loaves
Always go for pre-sliced loaves if they are available
We can both agree it’s extremely difficult to slice blocks of bread uniformly, so toasties are the most easily made using pre-sliced bread you can get readily at your nearest store. And if you are acquiring your bread at a bakery, then you can simply have them slice your loaf using their machine before wrapping it for you.
That said, if none of the above are an option and you have to slice your own bread, then make sure you’re doing it using the sharpest knife you have. Aim for approximately ¾ of an inch thick. These slice sizes will be thick to your liking but perfectly sized so heat can nicely penetrate them during cooking.
Save stale or old bread for toast
When some of your bread becomes too stale to use while making sandwiches (which is bound to happen often), do not throw it away. Instead, toast it up. Speaking from experience, throwing stale bread slices inside your toaster oven revitalizes it – in fact, that was the catalyst that finally resulted in the invention of the toaster oven.
If you’ve checked out my post of the history of toaster ovens, then you know that toast was invented in ancient Egypt, where, according to a lot of sources, pyramid builders would usually get paid in bread that remained outdoors for too long and ended up becoming stale.
To make the bread palatable, it would get livened up slightly over open fires, creating the first wave of toasted bread.
When you’re done slaving in the kitchen, it is now time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. To make breakfast even more enjoyable, feel free to put some jam on your toasts, coat them with some hazelnut chocolate, or put melted butter on them.