The toastie update

By
Editor
Added
16 May, 2017

For this year’s National Sandwich Week, we are thinking out of the box with an update to the equally loved toastie. Follow food writer, Fern Green’s top tips to success and you’ll never look back. Discover too, there’s so much more to a toastie than grilled cheese with the best recipes from her new book, Melts.

First, select your bread


There is a definite need to hit the right mix of bread and filling. If the bread is too soft you may not get the right crust or chew. If the bread is too hard it might feel like biting down on a seriously fat crouton. As for freshness, one-day-old bread is best. It will never be too soft and will crisp up like you want it to. The white bloomer is a favourite: a lovely white, spongy, doughy bread.

Enjoy: Ham & cheese


Get your kit ready 


Don’t feel that you need to go and buy a toasted sandwich maker. Some breads taste better under the grill, others browned in a toaster or pan-fried until crispy. Use a spatula to press down on the bread, encouraging the golden effect. This can be key in transforming your sandwich from good to excellent.

Enjoy: Mangego & chorizo


Use butter or oil

Spread this on the outside of the bread; it helps to crisp up the toastie, giving it the appetising golden glow and crunch. Grating cheese onto the bottom of the frying pan before adding your sandwich on top gives it a special cheese crisp.


Choose your cheese

There are three categories for good melting cheese;

Stretchy – this includes Burrata, Mozzarella and Scamorza. Cheeses of this type will pretty much stay put when heated, so you don’t need to worry about it melting everywhere. Light and creamy in flavour, when pulled they produce a lovely stretch, some as long as your arm!

Smooth – Cheddar, Emmental, Fontina, Gruyere, Brie, Camembert, to name a few. This is the largest cheese camp and often the most popular type for making a melt. These cheeses rock when it comes to melting. Don’t be shy about mixing them up to achieve ultimate status.

Non-melters – Feta, halloumi, paneer, Parmesan, ricotta and soft goat’s cheese make up this group. Though they may soften when heated, they won’t lose their shape. Although these cheeses don’t melt, this doesn’t mean they won’t make a decent addition to a toasted sandwich.

Enjoy: Triple cheese & leek


Adjust the heat

Very high temperatures can tighten the proteins in a cheese, which will give you a rubbery, greasy mess. A more gentle heat is best. Grating your cheese also reduces the amount of time it will take to melt. If however, you’re using a semi-soft cheese then thin slices will do.

Enjoy: Tenderstem broccoli & burrata


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