Lauren Groveman a recipe for delicious living

Crisp Toast Points

(January 3, 2008)
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Jan asked Lauren:

Dear Lauren,

I bought dry toasts (packaged ones) for New Years, to serve with caviar. In my opinion, the toasts were too thick and over powered the delicate texture and taste of the caviar. I was wondering if I could make a homemade version of these that were thinner and had a fresher, more savory taste. I thought of using regular, store-bought "Melba Toasts" but they are so plain and uninspiring. It feels like something as regal as caviar deserves to be served with a form of toast that's more special, yet neutral enough to allow the caviar to shine. Thanks for your thoughts.

Lauren says...

Homemade "toast points" are extremely easy to make and are so much better tasting and also texturally, than the store-bought versions. All I do is brush slices of "very thin" sliced wheat bread (by Pepperidge Farm), on both sides, with melted butter (you can also use the white variety) and then bake the slices until they're golden, turning them once while in the oven. Just before baking, the tops of the buttered slices are given a light sprinkling of kosher salt, which makes the toasts extra savory and perfect for all kinds of spreads, runny cheese and, of course, as the traditional accompaniment to the finest caviar. Here's a recipe for Crisp Toast Points to use for any occasion, whether casual or celebratory.

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Crisp Toast Points

Yield: 24 to 48 toast points

vegetable cream cheese

Here's a quick, easy and so-much-better tasting version of toast points that are perfect to serve with all kinds of spreads, cheese, caviar, to accompany a salad or a soothing soup. These can be made a day ahead and stored in an air-tight tin and leftovers taste great for days. The way you slice the bread will determine the number of toast points you end up with. I suggest, when serving with something like caviar, that's pricey, cut the bread slices into quarters instead of halves, before baking.

    SpeciaL Equipment:

  • Wire cooling rack
  • Large shallow baking sheet
    Ingredients:

  • 12 slices "very thin" sliced bread, preferably wheat (by Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste

1) To set up: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a wire cooling rack into a large shallow baking sheet (If your rack isn't large enough to fill the baking sheet, use two sheets and two wire racks, or bake the toasts in batches.)

2) To season the bread: Brush both sides of each slice of bread with some of the melted butter, using a pastry brush. Stack several buttered slices and cut diagonally in half or in quarters and place the slices on the wire rack that's set within the baking sheet. The slices can be close together but must be in a single layer. Sprinkle the tops only lightly with Kosher or sea salt and bake at 375°F for 8 minutes. Turn the slices over, rotate the pan from front to back and continue to bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until uniformly golden but not at all burnt. (If you're slices aren't crisp and uniformly golden after baking on the second side, turn off the oven and let the toasts sit there, with the door shut, for another 3 minutes. (Be careful though, as the residual heat can quickly cause these very thin slices of toasted bread to burn.)

3) To cool, serve and store toast points: Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the toast points cool completely on the wire rack. Serve now or store in a covered tin at room temperature for several days.

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Lauren Groveman recipes have been featured in many national magazines and local newspapers. Her books "The I love to Cook Book: Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking for Family and Friends" and "Lauren Groveman's Kitchen, Nurturing Food for Family and Friends" are available through Amazon.com.

For in depth information on Lauren Groveman as a writer, teacher, TV & radio host, as well as her recipes and cooking tips visit her website at www.laurengroveman.com

Lauren is a Larchmont resident. She is happily married and blessed with three wonderful children.