Tag Archives: Breville Toastmatic

The Uther Henge guide to perfect toast

Traditional single Insertion methodTraditional single Insertion method

The traditional method of toasting. You simply adjust the toaster setting so that it pops up cooked to perfection. At least, that’s the idea. The reality is that several factors usually result in very uneven toasting.

Advantages:

  • Speed
  • Simplicity
  • Basic toaster settings
  • No special training required

Disadvantages:

  • Uneven toasting (unless you use the Breville Toastmatic 4000)

Double insertion method (mid-stage horizontal rotation)Double insertion method

The first level of advanced toast-making. The toaster is set to half the standard setting, and when it pops out midway you rotate the bread horizontally before reinserting for the second stage.

Advantages:

  • Consistent toasting on both sides

Disadvantages:

  • Top of bread often toasted more than bottom
  • Inexperienced users can burn their fingers at the midway stage
  • Basic training required

The Uther Henge Flip (mid-stage vertical rotation)The Uther Henge Flip

The pinnacle of practical toast-making. This is a simple improvement over the horizontal double insertion method. The introduction of a vertical flip creates fantastic toast.

Advantages:

  • Consistent toasting top to bottom on both sides

Disadvantages:

  • Resetting toaster to half the single insertion value confuses other toaster users who have to be forcefully inducted into the ways of the Uther Henge Flip.

Horizontal rotation followed by vertical flip followed by second vertical flipHorizontal rotation followed by vertical flip followed by second vertical flip at one-third and two-third stages

This over-elaborate method of toasting results in the most consistent browning but is so complex that most people get worse results than the traditional single insertion method.

Advantages:

  • Incredibly even toasting

Disadvantages:

  • Requires quadruple insertion
  • Many novices fail to observe the rule that bread should be inserted either once, or an even number of times, but never an odd number, unless of course you introduce a final finishing off phase to remedy any inconsistencies
  • Setting the toaster becomes very complex
  • Toaster needs to be reset for subsequent slices to prevent over-cooking
  • Constant monitoring necessary to avoid burning
  • Many people forget how many toast rotations they have performed because they are distracted by other events in the kitchen

Factors to consider

Is your bread sliced by hand or machine?

Hand-slicing is less consistent than machine-slicing and the raised areas can become especially burnt. But you may be able to spread more Hobgoblin Marmalade on hand-sliced bread because it has a greater surface area. Experts call this the Goblin Ratio.

Is the bread thicker at one end than the other?

This can have a massive impact on the flow of hot air through your toaster, disrupting your calculations. You may be wise to set some time aside for wind-tunnel testing if your slices of bread are particularly wedge-shaped.

Who is Uther Henge?

Uther Henge is the chief mystics consultant for the National Trust stationed permanently at their gift shop at Glastonbury Tor. If you visit St. Michael’s Tower on top of Glastonbury Tor you can experience the Making Toast Through The Ages display at which Uther Henge gives a twice-daily lecture Toast, the Tor, Past Present and Future. Henge invented the Uther Henge Flip during one of his lectures when he realised that this unintuitive method of rotating bread resulted in a better and more consistent slice of toast.

Infographic

This information is available as an infographic:
The Uther Henge guide to perfect toast infographic

Toast-making display woos tor visitors

Making Toast Through The Ages - No Knives signA new display Making Toast Through The Ages opened today in St. Michael’s Tower on Glastonbury Tor. This follows the cleanup operation that was necessary following the recent no entry vortex encountered by Percival Angstrom.

This fascinating display charts the development of toast since medieval times. Delicious toasted wholemeal bread has always been part of Glastonbury’s history – indeed it appears in the town’s coat of arms. The Domesday Book refers to the toasted sustenance that pilgrims enjoyed in the town of Glastonbury before making the final barefoot ascent to the tor summit. Visitors to the display learn that no mention is made of butter or marmalade in those early times – these innovations were to arrive in the early fourteenth century during Edward II’s reign.

Sponsored by Breville, the display includes a variety of gas and electrical toasters that have been used since 1912.

The most compelling part of the display is the lecture in one corner of St. Michael’s Tower by Uther Henge, the top mystical consultant at the National Trust who leaves his duties at the gift shop twice a day to fascinate visitors.

The lecture titled Toast, the Tor, Past Present and Future leads visitors through the historical artefacts on display, and includes advice on modern toast-making techniques. For example, visitors are taught the “double-insertion method”, in which they learn how to set the intensity level for their toaster to half its normal value, and flip their toast half way through the process, leading to an incredibly evenly browned surface.

Such techniques are not necessary when using the Breville Toastmatic 4000 which uses modern technology to dynamically brown the surface of bread and deliver a perfect slice of toast every time. This is one of the models of toaster available in the gift shop as you leave the tor.

Uther Henge commented “Obviously safety is first and foremost for us. When they enter the display area we issue visitors with safety goggles so that there is no risk of toast popping out of toasters and causing an injury. We also confiscate any knives we find during our routine search because there have been incidents where people have inserted them into the display toasters to try and remove bread that gets stuck.”