Judging by the quantity of meals involving toast, I would imagine that the browned bread played a fairly substantial role on the tables of Americans in the early twentieth century. I would imagine that many of these were served for lunch — though some would be well-suited to breakfasts or dinners.
How to make different kinds of toast – including some strange old-fashioned recipes you don’t see much anymore
1. American toast
To one egg thoroughly beaten, put a cup of sweet milk and a little salt. Slice light bread and dip into the mixture, allowing each slice to absorb some of the milk; then brown on a hot buttered griddle or thick-bottomed frying pan. Spread with butter and serve hot.
2. Milk toast recipe
Put over the fire a quart of milk, put into it a tablespoon of cold butter, stir a heaping teaspoon of flour into half a gill of milk. As soon as the milk on the fire boils, stir in the flour, add a teaspoon of salt. Let all boil up once, remove from the fire and dip in the slices of toasted bread. When all are used up, pour what is left of the scalded milk over the toast. Cover and send to the table hot.
3. Cream toast recipe
Heat a pint of milk to boiling and add a piece of butter the size of an egg. Stir a tablespoon of flour smoothly into a cup of rich cream and add some of the boiling milk to this. Heat it gradually to prevent the flour from lumping; then stir into the boiling milk and let it cook a few minutes; salt to taste. After taking from the fire, stir in a beaten egg. Strain the mixture onto toast, lightly buttered.
4. Cheese toast #1
Toast thin slices of bread an even crisp brown. Place on a warm plate, allowing a small slice to each person and pour on enough melted cheese to cover them. Rich new cheese is best. Serve while warm. Many prefer a little prepared mustard spread over the toast before putting on the cheese.
5. Cheese toast #2
Put half an ounce of butter in a frying pan. When hot, add gradually four ounces of mild American cheese. Whisk it thoroughly until melted. Beat together half a pint of cream and two eggs; whisk into the cheese, add a little salt, pour over the crisp toast and serve. These two recipes are usually called Welsh rabbit.
6. Oyster toast
Select the large ones used for frying and first dip them in beaten egg, then in either cracker or bread crumbs and cook upon a fine wire gridiron over a quick fire. Toast should be made ready in advance and a rich cream sauce poured over the whole. After pouring on the sauce, finely-cut celery strewn over the top will add to their delicacy. Or wash oysters in the shell and put them on hot coals or upon the top of a hot stove or hake them in a hot oven. Open the shells with an oyster knife, taking care to lose none of the liquor. Dip the toast into hot salted water quickly and turn out the oysters and liquor over the toast; season with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of melted butter over each. Oysters steamed in the shell are equally as good.
7. Mushrooms on toast recipe
Peel a quart of mushrooms and cut off a little of the root end. Melt an ounce of butter in a frying pan and fry in it half a pound of raw minced steak; add two saltspoons of salt, a pinch of cayenne and a gill of hot water; fry until the juices are extracted from the meat; tilt the pan and squeeze the meat with the back of the spoon until there is nothing left but dry meat, then remove it; add the mushrooms to the liquid, and if there is not enough of it add more butter; toss them about a moment and pour out on hot toast. Some add a little sherry to the dish before removing from the fire.
8. Tomato toast
Pare and stew a quart of ripe tomatoes until smooth: season with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of butter. When done, add cup sweet cream and a little flour. Let it scald but not boil; remove at once. Pour over slices of dipped toast, well-buttered.
9. Eggs on toast
Toast the bread a rich brown, allowing one slice to each person. Lay on a warm plate and butter well, then place a nicely poached egg on each slice of toast and pepper and salt to taste.
10. Baked eggs on toast
Toast six slices of stale bread, dip them in hot salted water and butter them lightly. After arranging them on a platter or deep plate break enough eggs to cover them, breaking one at a time and slip over the toast so that they do not break. Sprinkle over them salt and pepper, and turn over all some kind of thickened gravy — either chicken or lamb, cream or a cream sauce made the same as white sauce. Turn this over the toast and eggs and bake in a hot oven until the eggs are set, or about five minutes. Serve at once.
11. Ham toast recipe
Take a quarter of a pound of either boiled or fried ham. Chop it fine; mix it with the yolks of two eggs, well beaten, and a tablespoon of butter and enough cream or rich milk to make it soft and a dash of pepper. Stir it over the fire until it thickens. Dip the toast for an instant in hot salted water; spread over some melted butter, then turn over the ham mixture. Serve hot.
12. Minced fowls on toast
Remove from the bones all the meat of either cold roast or boiled fowls. Clean It from the skin and keep covered from the air until ready for use. Boil the bones and skim with three-fourths of a pint of water until reduced quite half. Strain the gravy and let it cool. Next, having skimmed off the fat, put it into a clean saucepan with half a cup of cream, three tablespoons of butter well-mixed with a tablespoon of flour. Keep them stirred until they boil. Then put in the fowl, finely minced, with three hard boiled eggs chopped and sufficient salt and pepper to season. Shake the mince over the fire until just ready to serve. Dish it over hot toast and serve.
13. Washed beef on toast
Chop a quantity of cold roast beef rather fine and season it well with pepper and salt. For each pint of meat add a level tablespoon of flour. Stir well and add a small teacup of soup stock or water. Put the mixture into a small stewpan, and after covering it simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toast half a dozen slices of bread nicely, and at the end of the 20 minutes, spread the meat upon them. Serve at once on a hot dish. In case water is used instead of soup stock, add a tablespoon of butter just before spreading the beef upon the toast.
14. Apple toast recipe
Cut six apples into quarters, take the core out, peel and cut them in slices. Put in the saucepan an ounce of butter, then throw over the apples about two ounces of white powdered sugar and two tablespoons of water. Put the saucepan on the fire, let it stew quickly, toss them up or stir with a spoon. A few minutes will do them. When tender, cut two or three slices of bread half an inch thick; put in a frying pan two ounces of butter, and put on the fire. When the butter is melted, put in your bread, and fry it to a nice yellowish color. When nice and crisp, take them out. Place them on a dish, a little white sugar over, the apples about an inch thick. Serve hot.
15. Veal hash on toast
Take a teacup of water in a saucepan, stir in an even teaspoon of flour, add in a tablespoon of cold water and let it boil for five minutes. Add a half teaspoon of black pepper, as much salt and two tablespoons of butter and let it keep hot, but do not boil. Chop the rest fine and mix with it half as much stale breadcrumbs. Put it in a pan and pour the gravy over it, then let it simmer ten minutes. Serve this on buttered toast.
16. Codfish on toast (Cuban style)
Take a teacup of freshened codfish picked up fine. Fry a sliced onion in a tablespoon of butter. When it has turned a light brown, put in the fish with water enough to cover it; add half a can of tomatoes or half a dozen fresh ones. Cook all nearly an hour, seasoning with a little pepper. Serve on slices of dipped toast hot. Very fine. Plain creamed codfish is also very nice turned over dipped toast.
17. Halibut on toast recipe
Put into boiling salted water a pound of fresh halibut; cook slowly for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from the water and chop it fine, then add half a cup of melted butter and eight eggs well-beaten. Season with salt and pepper. Place over the fire a thick-bottomed frying pan containing a tablespoon of cold butter. When it begins to melt, tip the pan so as to grease the sides; then put in the fish and eggs and stir one way until the eggs are cooked, but not too hard. Turn over toast dipped in hot salted water.
18. Chicken hash with rice toast
Boil a cup of rice the night before and put it into a square, narrow bread pan, setting it in the icebox. Next morning, cut it into half inch slices. Rub over each slice a little warm butter and toast them on a broiler to a delicate brown. Arrange the toast on a warm platter and turn over the whole a chicken hash made from the remains of cold fowl, the meat picked from the bones chopped fine; put into the frying pan with butter and a little water to moisten it, adding pepper and salt. Heat hot all through. Serve immediately.
19. Celery toast recipe
Cook together outer stalks and roots of celery in a little water, first cutting them into small pieces. Take them from the water, and to half a cup of this, put a cup of good rich milk. Thicken it with a tablespoon each of butter and flour; salt and pepper to taste, then put the celery back into it and pour all over buttered toast. Leave in the oven three or four minutes before serving.
20. Savory toast
For this you may use any well-seasoned gravy you have, or if you have none, make it from stock or soup or canned soup. See that it is well-seasoned and slightly thickened. Heat it boiling hot, add salt and pepper to taste, make the slices of toast and pour the gravy over them. Set in oven for five minutes and serve. This will take the place of a regular meat dish at breakfast, luncheon or supper.
21. Baked milk toast recipe
Trim the crust from slices of bread cut of medium thickness. Toast bread lightly on both sides and then butter it thinly. Lay the slices in the pudding dish in which you wish to serve it, sprinkling each slice with a little salt and pour over all as much milk as dish will hold. Cover the dish, set it in the oven and bake 20 minutes, then uncover it and brown lightly on top. Serve in the dish in which it is cooked. If you can use rich unskimmed milk or add a little cream the dish will be so much the better.
22. Italian toast
Sprinkle hot toast with grated cheese and set in oven until cheese melts. Pour hot white sauce over it and serve immediately. Add sliced green onions to white sauce. Very fine.
23. California toast recipe
Butter hot toast and sprinkle with grated Italian cheese; then set in oven. When cheese melts, place thin slices of cooked bacon on each slice and sprinkle with paprika. Garnish with parsley.