This is for the people who like crispy toast and soggy melty butter too. This is for the people who are sick unto death of the crumbs in the butter. This is for ease of buttery toast that does not drip and has butter melting into the bread as it cooks.
My folks seem to think this is some miraculous procedure that I’ve invented. It’s not. What is miraculous is the toast you’ll get.
Like many things, I cook my basic foods without really measuring amounts or temperatures or stuff. I know my fudge is cooking just right when the pre-chocolate froth looks like big boofy pillows. Someday I will film this and the world will finally understand what I mean by ‘when the fudging starts pillowing, then cook and stir for five minutes’. A ‘glug’ is a legitimate liquid measure in my kitchen, as is ‘a handful that you’ve taken a big bite out of’. Other helpful instructions include ‘if you think there’s too much for the recipe, eat what’s extra. If you don’t like it, find someone else. If no one, find the cat who ate half a potato that one time. If not him, then compost it by throwing it off the deck and into the ravine. Take a shot of wine if you get it into the creek, 60 points to Slytherin.’ All this enchances my mystique and gets my helpers to do exactly as I ask for fear of breaking dinner.
So I won’t bother telling you how long to cook it, or at what temperature. What you do need is bread sliced about an inch or so thick. Crusty bread is my overwhelming preference. You need an oven or toasting oven with a horizontal rack.
Butter (the verb, use whatever spread you please) your bread on one side only. Go with the side that has the least holes or has the most surface area. Butts work well with this technique, just be sure you can prop them butter-side up. The butter should be evenly distributed, not very thick, but not so thin you’re scraping the knife over the bread. This is how crumbs get in the butter tub and it’s just not polite to everyone else. And it’s certainly no way to treat butter that will probably be used in something else. Who wants whole wheat crumbs in their garlic butter?
An easy way to make garlic bread – simply sprinkle granualted garlic powder over the buttered bread, as yet untoasted. I like a fine, even layer for maximum consistent flavor, but do as you please.
Once you’ve buttered your slices sufficiently, put them in the toaster oven, butter side up unless you want burnt butter and smoke! Due to the differences in toasters and my unwillingness to mess with how long at 350/400 F makes perfect toast, toast your bread until the bottom of your bread is stiff and crispy/crunchy, slightly browned. There may be beautiful rack marks. The crusts should be crunchy and slightly hardened, perfect for handling. If not quite there, cook a little bit longer. My toaster oven has 7 toasting settings, and different breads require different settings. Sometimes a new bread cooked at 5 may need an extra round at 1 to reach toasty perfection.
Once done, use your knife to slide onto a plate, and eat.
I find that hardy, seedy breads work best for breakfast or paired with a soup or stew.
Cranberry walnut toast is fantastic with goat cheese spread on top, almost dessert-like.
Ciabatta bread is best for garlic breads and croutons – salad and soup alike. Toast your soup croutons less than you would for a salad, slice large and float in the soup.
Wonder white should be avoided like the devil. It’s not good for ya.
In conclusion: dry toast sucks, fully buttered toast is soggy and makes a mess in the toaster, nobody likes the asshole who got crumbs in the butter, and butter-side up toast is perfect and you should make it now.