Homemade Melba Toast
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Melba toasts are small thin, dried toasts. You can buy them in boxes at the supermarket, but I bet half of them will be broken. And there really isn’t any need to buy those that way. You can easily make your own melba toasts in the oven in about an hour. You know they will be fresh, you can season them any way you like, and if they are broken, you can only blame… (Blame the dog! Ha!)
Melba toasts were originally created around 1900 by August Escoffier, the famous French chef of the time and whose name is still famous today. He made it as something for an Australian opera singer to have to eat while she was ill. Ever feel like your tummy could only hold down crackers?
Of course, they are superb eaten with soups and salads, and make an excellent vehicle for noshing on spreads and pates. The latter is what I made this particular batch for. I was planning on making a Russian style aubergine (eggplant) caviar, which is a lot like baba ghannoush, with different spicing. Usually with baba ghannoush I would make toasted pita wedges, but this time I wanted something a little less Middle Eastern (since the caviar is Russian style) so I grabbed some cocktail rye bread at the market. Those long loaves of cocktail bread are huge anyway, especially for a small family. I could only hope to use all of that bread before it went stale if I was entertaining, and making a boatload of finger sandwiches for parties or high tea. So with the leftovers, if you do make finger sandwiches, this is a perfect way to be frugal and not have to throw the bread out.
And it stores easily in your palatable pantry, packed in an airtight container.
- cocktail rye bread (other cocktail bread is fine as well)
- olive oil as needed
- garlic powder or other seasonings (optional)
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Place bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings (if desired.)
- Bake 30 minutes in a low oven; then turn toasts over and bake about 30 minutes more, or until dry and crisp.
- Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container until needed.
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