Filed under Culture
Written by Jo Hombsch
Anyone with some bread, butter, cheddar cheese and a frying pan can make a simple, unpretentious toastie. It is the ultimate comfort food, but we know this gooey rectangular piece of heaven is loaded with calories, so it not only deserves to be perfect, it needs to be.
Every slice of bread, as we found has so much potential, but the big debate – how do we cook this buttery golden sandwich? Do you grill, fry or press?
It seems not every toastie is the same, however, there is one thing cheesemongers and chefs have in common, their choice of bread – good old sourdough for the win. And when it comes to the best toastie memories for a cheesemonger, it’s none other than a toastie from Kappacasein, at Borough Market, London’s street food haven.
Life is really too short to bother with eating bad toasties, so we spoke to some of our favourite cheesemongers and chefs who’ve shared their secrets on how to make the perfect toastie. Enjoy the ultimate, no guilt, feel-good bite, but only if you get it right.
A dense quality sourdough. Even a fan of day old, as it’s more crunchy!
Sandwich Press. Don’t slam it down, press it down gently. Flip the toastie halfway through cooking and then rotate 180 degrees for even melting. Cook it slow and lowwww. Yes – finding the proper heat is essential and a true art form. You want to toast the bread whilst allowing the rich oils from the cheese to come through without burning.
- La Couronne Comte with kimchi
- Fontina, green Sicilian olives, chèvre
- Manchego, Gruyére & caramelized onion relish and pickles
- Mozzarella, Raclette, sage, prosciutto
- Taleggio with mushrooms & thyme and truffled pecorino
Read more about The Studd Siblings toastie tips, their favourite toastie memory and a recipe and here.
Fry in a pan
Just try to cook it in the coals rather than over the flame it will cook too quickly
It has two cheeses, a melting one and something that has punch and peppery qualities, like a blue cheese and a gruyere cheese. Thanks now I need to go make one.. YUM
I toast in a shallow fry pan and always use a weight of some sort, gives you MAXIMUM crunch and a good even colour
Triple cheese, thyme, confit garlic & sauteed button mushroom
Season, season, season!!!
I have eyes for only one bakery PiOik Bakery in Pyrmont. We use the Epooro sourdough (3 day ferment, wholewheat) which we age further after bake for better texture/flavour.
We use a contact grill, off the shelf Sunbeam. But at a pinch, a frypan with a weight works just as well.
I think the addition of a fresh onion/ chive mix added when the cheese is melted steps it up a notch. Others swear by the jalapeños .
Use good bread (day old), use good cheese (if in doubt add more), use a blend of cheese to add flavours but also textures (think stretchy scamorza or flavoursome cheddar). Grate the cheese for an even melt/ blend. And…. NEVER ever add mayonnaise.
We use a blend that ranges from basic 3-4 to many more up to 8. The simplest that you could do from a supermarket would be a good block cheddar and smoked mozzarella.
I used to visit and also live in London and the Kappacasein toastie at the Borough Market was always one of the first places I would go. I even did a couple of shifts there which gave me some tips. The Poilane Bread, the multi cheese blend and the use of the allium mix is a real sexy time.
Rye caraway sourdough
It’s not really a filling but a topping – butter the outside of the bread and toast to caramelise and crisp up the bread
Make sure it’s flavoursome melting cheese and team it with a good mustard or pickle to cut through the richness
The mushroom melt hasn’t come off the menu since it was introduced a few years ago: field and enoki mushrooms, gruyere, pickled jalapenos and truffle mayo. It’s an ode to one of my favourite sandwiches, made by Kieran Day from Stinking Bishops in Enmore
Grilled in a sandwich press for 8mins at 200 deg
We have a delicious toastie on our menu at the moment, available to takeaway – Field Mushroom, Kimchi, Truffle mayo and Provolone cheese. Order on Bopple here.
Always with heaps of cheese, so when you cut the toastie it comes oozing out.
Sonoma Cafe Country Sourdough
We cook it on the grill and then finish in the oven
Jamon Serrano, Gruyere, Bechamel, Smoked Mozzarella, Dijon and Truffle Paste
Be generous with butter on the grill facing sides of the toastie.
We are popular for our truffle so we not only use truffle paste but for the seekers who want to take it to the next level shave decadent amounts of fresh truffle on top.
A good quality sourdough. I’m not fussy where it comes from, as long as it’s great.
I prefer a fry pan as you can get a nice crisp from it and I always butter the sourdough first.
The simple combination of ham and cheese is a firm fave of mine. I like to use a combination of gruyere, raclette and cheddar cheeses with ham off the bone.
Once your toastie is cooked, sweep a little more melted butter across both sides and finish with a sprinkle of sea salt.
We put a lot of effort into perfecting our Mushroom Toastie at Quick Brown Fox Eatery so that’s definitely on the list. We use Swiss brown mushrooms, three different cheeses, truffle paste and crème fraiche and then finish the toastie off with a grate of Parmigiano Reggiano. Another fave is the Pimento Grilled Cheese from Melbourne’s Maker & Monger. The combination of capsicum, cornichons, onion and jalapenos with Cabot cheddar and That’s Amore smoked scamorza is brilliant.
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