Melba toast is in essence a thinly sliced, doubly toasted bread that verges upon burnt
. Often a dark bread is used, but white bread
can also be used. It is best served while still warm
, though cold it often accompanies soups and salads.
- Preheat oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius)
- Toast bread and cut in half so that two full sized pieces that
are very thin (one side toasted) are left.
- Remove crust
- Place bread toasted side down in the oven
- Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the edges start to curl
The origin of the name comes from Helen Porter Mitchell (1861 - 1931) - who had the stage name of Dame Nillie Melba. Her last name comes from her native city of Melbourne. It is believed that Auguste Escoffier (a well known chef of the time) is thought to have had a hand in both the creation of Melba toast and peach Melba.
Melba toast itself was a primary part of Dame Melba's diet in 1897. In 1897, Dame Melba was seriously ill and bland food was necessary. Another version of the story is that the toast was part of her constant struggle to lose weight. Melba toast entered common use in 1925 and was first mass-produced by the Devon Bakery in New York City.