Hi, I love toasted bread that maintains that crunchy texture on the surface... but from my experience, it's just not that simple...
It would be great if Alton Brown had an episode on the science of toasting bread - superior method (oven, fry pan, toaster oven, toaster, etc) and superior bread (white, whole grain, wheat, rye, etc).
From my experience, I noticed that the more natural the bread, the better the crunchy texture. For example, rye bread maintains that crunchiness for the duration of the meal.
On the other hand, my favorite brand name loaf of bread is "Home Pride" white bread (butter top). Not sure why it's called "butter top," 'cause I don't taste any butter... but I love it because it's always soft and it's lovely for PB&J sandwiches.
That said, Home Pride does not hold up to toasting. The crunchy texture lasts about a minute or two, and then the bread becomes stale and tenacious... don't know what that's about. I guess white bread has been altered too much, and it just doesn't have enough of that natural goodness to maintain the crunchiness like rye bread.
However, I also buy the loaf of artisan french bread that are directly made by the bakery of the supermarkets. Even though it's white bread, the toast holds up very well. The downfall however, is that the individual slices of bread simply aren't large enough for sandwich purposes... they're more intended for dipping in soup, or spreading butter on 'em, etc. But individually, they're very small. It would work if the market could slice the loaf of bread on a bias, but they said the machine doesn't work like that...
So is there a really good secret to toasting brand name white bread? Or is it pretty much impossible, due to all the processing?
Thanks as always!