The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Who can recommend a great bread for toasting?

cfmuirhead's picture

Who can recommend a great bread for toasting?

Any suggestions for a bread that does great breakfast toasts?  I would prefer if it was not all white flour, for health reasons, and a sourdough for flavor and because it keeps a bit longer.   But I am open to all suggestions!

swtgran's picture

Salt risen bread makes the best toast ever and it keeps well.

Roo's picture

Zolablue has a great semolina sandwich loaf that makes a really really good toast. It loks like Zola has also worked it into a sourdough that I could only imagine would be great toasted as well.

I tried cutting and pasting the links for you, but guess I don't know what I am doing as they will not show up.  Do a search for it and you will not be disappointed.

manicbovine's picture

I will second the semolina bread for toasting. I make a half-semolina bread specifically for this purpose. Just 50% bread flour, 50% "BRM semolina for pasta".  The result is a rather dense bread that makes surprisingly tender toast.

Ford's picture

I agree salt rising bread is great for toast, if you can get used to the aroma.

Question:  Do you want to make this yourself?  If so, I will be glad to give you my recipe for salt rising bread, sourdough 50% whole wheat, or sourdough white bread.  I like each of them for toast.



cfmuirhead's picture

What do you mean by aroma??? Also, my husband is on a low-salt diet, is the salt content on this bread much higher than a  'normal' bread?

Thanks for your suggestion and help.

cfmuirhead's picture

...please do send me the recipe, I would love to try this interesting bread. Many thanks.

Ford's picture

As someone else commented the salt content is not high the name came from the salt in shich the container of starter was stored.  This is NOT necessary now.

Here are two recipes one using  the traditional method and one using  King Arthur's starter.



[1/2" slice: 62 g, 148 cal, 4.3g prot, 2.3g fat, 27.2 g carb.]

2 medium, raw, peeled, thinly sliced potatoes
1 quart boiling water
1/3 cup cornmeal (stone ground process)
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tspn. (0.1 oz.) salt

Put the thinly sliced potatoes in a large bowl, then pour in boiling water.  Sprinkle on the sugar, salt, and cornmeal.  Place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water and put it in a warm (about 110°F) spot where the temperature remains fairly steady.  Do not cover!!!  The starter must then be foaming, with some corn meal and perhaps even a few slices of potato floating.  It will have a strong odor.  Don’t let it sit much longer or it may become too sour and mask the flavor of the bread.  Remove the potato slices and discard them.


Starter from above, without the potato slices

1 1/2 cups (10 oz.) scalded, tepid whole milk
1/4 tspn. baking soda
3 1/2 (14.9 oz.) cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 tspn. (0.1 oz.) sugar

Scald milk (190°F) then cool to 110°F.  Add baking soda to the starter and stir.  Then add milk, sugar, and unbleached flour.  Beat briskly until smooth, then cover with a plastic wrap and again place in a larger bowl of hot water.  Set in a warm (110°F) place, and let the sponge rise.  This may take as much as 5 hours, or as little as 2 hours.  When ready, the sponge will look creamy and will have foam on top, and still have the strong cheese odor.  If insufficient rising at this point, the dough probably will not rise sufficiently.

8 - 10 cups (34 – 42 oz.) unbleached flour or bread flour
1 tspn. sugar
2 1/2 tspn. (0.5 oz.) salt
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
solid shortening for greasing pans
melted butter for brushing dough
water in a sprayer (optional)

Put 4 cups of flour, 1 tspn. sugar and 2 1/2 tspn. salt into a large bowl, and blend.  Add shortening in small pieces and blend in as for pie dough, until the mixture looks like fine meal.  Add the flour mixture to the sponge and beat until well mixed.  Then add enough flour (4 - 5 cups, or more) to make a soft, manageable dough that you can knead.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or two, adding flour as necessary.  Let it rest for ten minutes.  Resume the kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary.  Divide into three loaves (about 2 3/4 lb. each), and shape each piece to fit the loaf pans.  Place each into a greased loaf pan, brush with melted butter, and cover with plastic wrap.  Set loaf pans in a larger pan of hot water, and set all in a warm place (110°F) to rise.  This final rise takes about 2 to 5 hours, and the loaves should double the original volume.  (I have found that this bread will not rise quite as much other bread.)

Preheat oven to 375°F (optionally, with a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf) and the middle shelf reserved for the bread pans.  When the dough has risen (you may spray the dough with water, and) place immediately into the oven.  Spray the loaves 3 additional times at 2 minute intervals to permit additional rising.  Bake until the interior temperature of the loaves is 200°F.  They should sound hollow when thumped with a finger on the bottom, about 60 minutes.  It is better to overbake than to risk underbaking.  Turn out on to a cooling rack, brush with butter, and cover with a damp cloth until cooled.  Bread may then be packaged and frozen.

To me, making Salt Rising Bread is mostly art and very little science.  We do not know the causes for some of my failures, though we are still trying to determine them.  We suggest that anyone trying this recipe, not make substitutions, and take all the precautions listed, until after at least one success.  We would like very much to know what substitutions are safe and what precautions are unnecessary.  We believe the primary source of failure is the lack of sufficient organisms reaching the starter to make an active leaven, see below.
A proofing oven is ideal for the various rising steps.  One can be made of a large cardboard box with a light bulb for heat.  (Do not let the bulb touch the box.)  We have used an electric oven and manually adjusted the temperature, but this is tricky.  Leaving the oven light bulb on will give a warm environment.  A gas oven with only the pilot light on will work, as will the top of a hot water heater.
Be sure to measure the temperature of the proofing oven (or area) — too high a temperature kills the organisms and too low (below 100°F) will not permit fast enough growth.  A temperature of 110°F seems to be about ideal for proofing.  The initial temperature of water in which the dough container rests may be as hot as 140°F.  This yeast seems to like a higher temperature than normal yeast.
Do NOT cover the potato and cornmeal starter.  We believe the most important source of the leavening organism is the atmosphere we breathe.  We have experimented with covered and uncovered starters.  The uncovered worked and the covered did not!  It is probably a good idea not to attempt the starter, if it is raining or snowing, since these clear the air of some of the yeast spores.
Do not use any product that has a live culture in it such as sweet acidophilus milk, yogurt, or buttermilk.  Or, at least scald (190°F for 10 minutes) such a product to kill any active organisms.  The organisms may be antagonistic to the leavening organism.
Be careful of preservatives that may be in the various ingredients.  They may kill the leavening organism.  Salt is a preservative; too much will slow or stop the leavening process.
If at any time in the process the product does not appear to be working, i.e., generating the gases needed for proper rising, discard it, and start over.  The starter must generate a good deal of foam, the sponge must also foam, and the dough must increase in bulk by 100%.  Possible causes for not working include the following.  (1) Cornmeal is too refined, or contains preservative or has been heated.  (2) The starter mixture is covered so that spores cannot get to the nutrients.  (3) A product containing an antagonistic culture, or a preservative was used.  (4) Improper rising temperatures were used.
To avoid off flavors, do not use vessels or utensils for the starter or the sponge in which bare aluminum, copper, or iron is exposed.  Good stainless steel is acceptable.
Adapted from Fanny Farmer Baking Book, by Marion Cunningham, Knopf, New York 1984


This is not the traditional recipe for salt-rising bread, but it is more reliable and produces bread that closely resembles the traditional bread and has the strong cheese odor.  This recipe is a modification of the recipe provided by King Arthur Flour with their Salt-Rising Yeast.  The amount of flour has been increased; the sugar has been decreased; and the dry active yeast has been decreased.  The dough is still quite slack, sticky, and difficult to handle.  I recommend an electric mixer with dough hook be used for final kneading.  (A food processor or a bread machine will probably work.)  The bread must be made over a two or three day period.  It cannot be rushed.  For a while, King Arthur discontinued selling the salt rising yeast, but as of 22 March 2009 it is back in their catalog.

1 cup (8 oz.) boiling water
3 Tbs. nonfat dry milk
3 Tbs. King Arthur Salt-Rising Yeast

Pour the boiling water into a 2-cup or larger container and sprinkle the dry milk and the salt-rising yeast over it.  Stir to moisten the dry ingredients.  In a few minutes stir again to be sure all dry ingredients have been moistened.  Cover the container and place it in a warm place, 100 – 110°F for about 24 hours.  The mixture should be bubbly and have the typical sour, cheese odor.  It may have separated, but this is all right.  If the starter is not bubbly, it has either died or has not been activated; throw it out and start over.

3 cup (12.8 oz.) King Arthur Bread Flour
1 cup (8 oz.) hot (130 – 140°F water

Add the Starter, the flour and the hot water to the bowl for the final mixing of the bread dough.  (I use a stand mixer with a dough hook for final mixing.)  Stir, cover, and place the bowl in a warm place (100 – 110°F).  Let the sponge rest for 2 to 4 hours, or even overnight.  At the end of the period, the sponge should be bubbly and still have the characteristic strong odor.

2 Tbs. nonfat dry milk
1 package (2 1/4 tspn., 1/4 oz.) dry active yeast, NOT salt-rising yeast
1/2 cup (4 oz.) warm (100 – 110°F) water
5 cup (21.3 oz.) King Arthur Bread Flour
2 Tbs. (1.2 oz.) sugar
1 to 1 1/2 Tbs. (0.6 to 0.9 oz.) salt
1/4 cup (2 oz.) shortening, room temperature or just melted (lard, butter, Crisco, Smart Balance, etc.)
shortening for greasing the pan and for brushing the loaves.

Mix the yeast with the warm water and sprinkle on some of the sugar; stir and allow foam to form.  Add the yeast mixture and the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl.  Mix with a dough hook until the dough looks shiny, about 5 minutes.  The dough is very sticky and hand kneading is problematic.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Divide the dough between two greased loaf pans (9 5/8 x 5 1/2 x 2 3/4“ top and down the side).  Cover with greased plastic wrap and place in the proofing area (100 to 110°F) until dough comes to the top of the pans, about 1 hour, but it is not predictable.  Do not expect much “oven spring,” so let it rise fully before placing it in the oven.
Bake the bread in the preheated 375°F oven for about 40 minutes.  The dough may be sprayed a couple of times with water during the first 5 minutes in the oven and the oven may have a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf to simulate a commercial steam oven.  When the bread is golden brown and the interior temperature is 190°F, remove the pans from the oven and let them sit for about 10 minutes.  Then turn the loaves out on to a cooling rack and allow them to cool before slicing or packaging them.
modified from The Bakers Catalogue, Inc.


The King Arthur's recipe is easier since the yeast is already active.  At times King Arthur has been out of the starter



Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Peter Rinehart's 100% WW sandwich loaf with sourdough starter from whole grains book.

plevee's picture

Cinnamon raisin

Potato bread

Semolina breads

All great toasted  Patsy

cfmuirhead's picture

Thanks to all for great suggestions.   Will keep you posted on my results.

swtgran's picture

Salt content is no greater than ordinary.  The name of the bread is from salt they stored the starter in the old days to keep it warm.  No need to do that now.

giertson's picture

Floyd's link for Struan Bread, right there on the left side bar, is a pretty easy win too. Great toast.

dmsnyder's picture

You have gotten some really good suggestions so far. Another kind of bread that makes great toast is any of the Sourdough multi-grain or seeded breads in Hamelman's "Bread."


jstreed1476's picture

Sliced thick, lightly toasted. Crispy outside, feathery inside.

I like to take a thick slice, butter it, cut out a hole with a biscuit cutter, and fry it with an egg in the hole. Pretty awesome breakfast.

droidman's picture

Peter Reinhart's Anadama Bread recipe in the BBA.

dstroy's picture

seconded :) That was the first bread Floyd ever baked for us!! It's best toasted!!

SylviaH's picture

in the recipe, taste, toast and grill nicely.


dmsnyder's picture

It makes wonderful toast! French toast, too. (Sylvia reminded me how much I like these.)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"Who can recommend a gread bread for toasting?"  

I think we can all recommend a recipe for just about every bread is good toasted.  The list of exceptions might be shorter.

Exceptions might include some steamed buns and jelly filled donuts. :)


kdwnnc's picture

Buttermilk bread makes the best toast I have ever had.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi There,

An Australian theory:-

Take any bread you like the taste of. If it is over one day old, toast it and enjoy.

I don't why, it may be an old granny's tale but here in Australia bread over a day old  is considered best for toasting. Don't leave it till it's totally stale, just don't toast it when at it's freshest.

Try it and may not agree. It all gets back to your own taste preferences.


cfmuirhead's picture

Hi Aussie Pete

you are right!  I have learned baking with Richard Bertinet, a French baker now established in Bath (see his website: thebertinetkitchen) and he always uses and recommends a day old bread for toasting.  At one of his classes, we baked beautiful brioches as bread loafs and had them sliced thinly and toasted the next day. Awsome! But, I often bake quite heavy, tasteful, wholewheat type breads and I find those often do not toast easily, they 'dry' up more than toast: not so nice.

margieluvschaz's picture

I like these recipes for toast the first is my favorite because of the nooks & crannies

I like the Honey wheat loaf from the favorites on this site  has an easy no knead yeast & sourdough recipe that I love using for toast

I  slice & toast the Cafeteria Lady roll recipe on this site

honestly I just love toast!!!!!!!