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Q&A

Pre-toast bread for toasted cheese sandwiches?

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I made toasted cheese sandwiches with soft, fresh white bread. They where softer then I expected when I took them out of the frying pan. Kind of bendy and floppy around instead of holding their shape.

Normally we make toasted cheese sandwiches when the bread is getting stale and hard.

Our recipe

  • Two slices of regular sandwich bread.
  • Butter on the outside of the bread/sandwich only.
  • Two slices of american cheese between the bread.
  • Cook on high heat in a frying pan until nicely browned, flip and repeat for the other side.

I wonder if I should toast the bread in the oven to dry it out a little before making the toasted cheese sandwiches next time (for very fresh bread)?

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5 comments

If you know your meal plans in advance, you can also try taking the bread you'll use out of the bag and just letting it sit on your counter. I don't know if the few hours from morning to lunch are enough or if it'd need all day/overnight, but it's worth a try -- less risk of making it too dry. Monica Cellio‭ 6 months ago

Do I understand correctly that you put the butter on the outsides of the bread slices but not inside? This is most likely the reason why it's so soft. What do you use for frying? Oil, butter, etc.? Or nothing at all? Zerotime‭ 6 months ago

@Zerotime I have heard of people putting butter on the inside. I never understood that. Outside - for frying or broiling - is the only way that makes logical sense to me. manassehkatz‭ 6 months ago

@manassehkatz Usually when I'm preparing something similar, I put butter on the inside and fry it with regular frying oil from the outside. Zerotime‭ 6 months ago

@Zerotime I put the butter only on the outside, that is the 'oil' it fries in. James Jenkins‭ 6 months ago

2 answers

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I have the same (nearly) ingredients but a very different process, and it results in nice crispy grilled cheese every time:

  • Two slices of regular sandwich bread frozen and removed from the freezer immediately before use. The frozen bread makes it easy to spread the margarine or butter and the bread never gets much time in "soft" mode.
  • Margarine or butter on the outside of the bread/sandwich only. For Kosher reasons, I only have Pareve margarine (no meat or dairy ingredients in it - watch out, some margarine is dairy) on hand most of the time, except Passover - butter on Matzah is great.
  • Four slices of american cheese between the bread.
  • The big difference: Broil on a foil covered pan until lightly browned, flip and broil until the other side is lightly browned. Or burned to a crisp, that works for me too.

Broiling is fast, probably a little healthier (only a very thin coating of margarine or butter is needed) than frying, and cleanup is "crumple up and recycle the foil".

Kind of funny: OP grills the sandwiches and calls them toasted. I toast the sandwiches and call them grilled.

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4 comments

RE: "bread frozen and removed from the freezer immediately before use" do you mean you put two slices in the freezer specifically to make the sandwich OR do you mean you take two slices out from a loaf of bread that is frozen in the freezer to keep it fresh? We buy a months worth of bread at a time, one loaf is out to make sandwiches as needed, the other loafs are in the freezer staying fresh until we need another one. James Jenkins‭ 6 months ago

We buy a months worth of bread at a time, one loaf is out to make sandwiches as needed Just like that. Bread defrosts so quickly that if it is "make sandwiches for kids to take to school for lunch", make the sandwiches on frozen bread and defrosts long before they get to lunch. If it is grilled cheese, broil as described. If it is "to eat immediately", I will often make the sandwiches and stick them in the oven for a minute or two, but not as long as for grilled cheese. manassehkatz‭ 6 months ago

Maybe you learnt the term from a British English speaker. Grill (en-GB) = broil (en-US). Peter Taylor‭ 6 months ago

@PeterTaylor Fascinating. I did not know that. manassehkatz‭ 6 months ago

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I use a griddle or frying pan; the key is to toast/grill/fry the insides golden-brown so they are crispy before sandwiching the cheese between them. I don't think toasting them would be a good idea; you don't want the interior of the bread to be dry and I find it difficult to create the correct crispiness in the oven without dehydrating the slice.

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