Making a toasted sandwich is dead easy and something that can be whipped up in even the busiest of lifestyles, but there are still some things that you should be made aware of in order to get the perfect snack at the end of your efforts.
For the majority of toasties bread pretty much comes down to a matter of personal preference, but there are some things that could help in deciding which bread to use. Fresh bread takes longer to go golden than bread that’s been around for a day or so, which could cause some fillings to boil out the side of the sandwhich. Older bread will also soak up more liquid than fresh bread so is better when using wetter ingredients.
If using farmhouse style bread, make sure you remove any hard crusts as the sandwich wont seal in the machine.
When using standard supermarket bread such as Hovis, go for medium sliced loaves as you’ll struggle to close the toaster lid when using multiple ingredients and thick sliced bread.
Again, the cheese you use is purely down to preference so in our toastie recipes we’ll just refer to “Cheese” as an ingredient unless a specific type is needed. Choose a cheese that doesn’t just melt down into liquid, otherwise you’ll just end up making a mess all over your toaster and not have much left in your sandwich! My personal favourite is Cheddar as it works brilliantly.
Don’t grate the cheese, slice it instead. The reason for this is that we’ve found grated cheese melts far too quickly and there’s more of a risk of it spilling out the sides before the bread has had chance to seal.
When toasters range from £5.00 to £50.00, it’s pretty difficult to choose which one to buy. The cheaper ones from our experience cook just as well as the more expensive toasters, but can be a pain at times. The lid locking mechanism tends not to be as sturdy as the higher priced models, and the heating plates a normally fixed into position which can make those spillages a pain to clean.
When using the toaster for the first time from new, make sure you season the plates correctly as per the instructions as this will remove any protective coating (which could be toxic) and ensure your plates perform at their best.
Always heat up your toastie maker up to the correct cooking temperature before placing any sandwich on the machine. Failure to do so will just end up melting the ingredients and not make the bread go a crispy golden brown colour.
Be careful when your placing your sandwich onto the toaster, those plates are hot! Sounds obvious I know, but I’ve been caught out a number of times. Extra care should also be taken when removing from the toaster too – when you begin to handle the sandwich, steam can and does (normally at the exact point where your fingers are) escape from the seams of the sandwich which will burn if you’re not careful.
It’s worth investing in a heatproof pastry brush and (non-metallic) spatula. Using anything metal on your heating plates can cause damage which will inevitably impair the performance of your toaster and lead to the bread sticking.