CREATE YOUR OWN TOAST BARFor setting up, you will need a platter for toast, some separate serving bowls, and some paper. Once you choose what toppings you like, you can set them out and allow the people your cooking for to make their own special toast. In addition to letting people experiment with toast, you can write out some suggested recipes like the ones below. I love the idea of letting your guest create their own, but also teaching them how to combine flavors in a new way.
HOW TO GET THE PERFECT TOASTThere are a lots of different suggested ways to cook toast, regardless of how you cook the toast, the first step will always be to choose good bread. You want the thickest, freshest bread you can find. If you can make it or get it from a local bakery, awesome, if not, go for ciabatta, challah, or a baguette at your grocery store. If you're wanting to buy a loaf, be mindful of the thickness and freshness of the particular brand you're choosing. I think all bread is fantastic, so ultimately whatever you choose will still probably be great. Choose what you think will best absorb flavor. After you have your good bread, you need to heat it up. My favorite toast is cooked in a cast iron skillet. You want your skillet to be hot, like meat cooking hot, before you cook the toast. I butter the toast ahead of time and then cook it in the piping hot cast iron skillet. You want to ensure that you are flipping over the bread constantly so that it doesn't get blackened. The hotter the bread, the better the spread will be. When you're serving your toast bar, make the toast to order. As soon as the toast comes off the skillet, you will give it to the person to top as they wish.
TOAST TOPPERSWhen setting up your awesome toast bar, there are SO many ingredients you can choose from. Here's a list of basics that can really turn your toast into something fantastic. Put these in the separate serving bowls you will have set up as part of your toast bar spread. Cheeses: Goat cheese, gorgonzola, cream cheese Meat: Prosciutto, Lox Misc: local honey, local jams, avocado, rosemary, salt, sun dried tomatoes, nuts One placards, or cute stationery, you should provide some flavor combination guides for the people you're cooking for, but also suggest people play around with different flavors. There are so many fun ways to combine these ingredients to get salty, savory, and sweet results.
TOAST-LY AWESOME RECIPES
Goat Cheese + Honey + Nuts + Rosemary
(the recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, but try sun-dried to add to the savory taste of this toast, via A Beautiful Mess)