One Toaster and Three Mail-Order Breads That Rise Above the Rest

Making toast is the simplest of endeavors. Perhaps that’s why manufacturers feel so compelled to foist touchscreens and internet connectivity onto their latest toasting contraptions. The $340Dualit 4 Slice NewGen toaster, on the other hand, does one thing sublimely. Controls are kept to a pair of chunky dials, one for selecting the number of bread slices or bagels you’re toasting, the other for choosing timer and defrost settings. Dualits are handmade in England, just as they’ve been since the middle of the 20th century. (Liam built the one we tested, according to a sticker on the bottom.) This model comes in more than 20 colors, though the original polished stainless-steel finish remains the most popular choice.

THE CASE

Simple, reliable, repairable, and built like a streamlined tank, the Dualit NewGen is a solid piece of industrial design that will last for generations. The 28-millimeter slots accommodate bread slices as thick as an inch; they can even hold an entire panini with an optional “sandwich cage.” After the mica-coated heating elements inside turn the bread a golden brown, your toast doesn’t automatically pop up; instead, it stays warmly nestled inside until you gently press the manual lever on the bottom to make it rise. $340

WHAT TO TOAST

• A proper British toaster deserves proper British bread, like the thick-sliced loaf ($13, pictured)Parker’s imports to the U.S. from the family-run Henllan Bakery in Wales. Complete an order with Marmite, marmalade, English bacon, and other essentials.

• From the land of avocado toast comesManresa Bread, a gluten-glorifying offshoot of David Kinch’s restaurant in Silicon Valley. A $40 sourdough box includes whole-wheat and levain loaves, a cranberry-orange-walnut bread, and, crucially, a sandwich-style option.

• Zingerman’s, an Ann Arbor, Mich., institution, offers a $14 German-style dinkelbrot with locally grown and milled spelt grain—plus rye, honey, caraway, anise, coriander, and mashed potatoes. Before baking, it’s coated in sunflower seeds to add a nutty crunch to every bite.

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