You’ve probably already been introduced to the delight that is fried bread—you just didn’t know it yet. Most classically served as part of a full English breakfast or Irish fry-up, fried bread (also known as fried toast) is a slice of bread pan-fried in butter, oil, or lard. Fried bread also allows for both sides of the bread to crisp—it’s basically a grilled cheese or pressed sandwich without all those pesky fillings. Some may be inclined to treat fried bread like those oh-so-trendy flashy toasts and top it with avocado or, God forbid, pastel-dyed cream cheese, but I don’t recommend it. Fried bread is best served straight up, and used to mop up the yolks of a sunny side up egg or two.
Drop a knob of good butter or a heavy splash of olive oil into a pan and heat over medium until hot. Grab two pieces of bread, be they thick slices of sourdough or squishy white; whatever you have in the freezer will do just fine. Drop the bread in the pan and let it cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Peek underneath the bread, looking for a deep gold flecked with dark brown. Flip the bread. If the pan is beginning to look dry, toss in a bit more butter or oil on the side of the bread and give the pan a good shake. Another 2-3 minutes and the second side of the bread should be sufficiently charred and glistening with fat.
Slide the fried bread onto a plate. That plate can be empty, or it can be filled with other things that are parts of a complete breakfast: the aforementioned sunny side up eggs, sausages, fried potatoes and onions, perhaps something green. If you prefer to make a meal of fried bread, dive in immediately with a hot mug of coffee on the side.
For those in search of something sweeter, roughly chop a few ounces of bittersweet chocolate while the bread fries. The moment the warm bread hits the plate, cover the exposed side in chocolate. Allow the chocolate a moment to start melting, then add a light dusting of sea salt.