Brown Sugar Is The Secret Ingredient For A Perfect Piece Of Buttered Toast

Sometimes it's the simplest things that have the most impact – on certain days the best thing in the world is a good piece of toast. Contrary to what trendy home cooks and high-end chefs would have you believe, toast doesn't need to be piled high with avocado, pickled veggies, and perfectly poached eggs. Sometimes you just want a comforting piece of cinnamon sugar toast. And if you want to take that up a notch, take a look at brown sugar toast. You might discover that you've been making toast wrong your whole life by using a toaster. Fry it up in a pan instead.

The epitome of simple pleasures, a piece of brown sugar toast requires nothing more than a tablespoon of softened salted butter, a tablespoon of packed brown sugar, a piece of bread, and a skillet. Because brown sugar toast is made in a pan with butter and sugar rather than being toasted and subsequently buttered and sugared, it has a crispy, crunchy texture, similar to that of caramelized French toast. When the brown sugar is introduced to high heat, the molecules begin to oxidize, releasing chemicals that are responsible for the change in color and flavor. This caramelization process imbues the toast with a nutty, toasted flavor and a light crunchy coating.

It's easy as 1, 2, 3

While any piece of bread will taste great cooked in butter and sugar, this recipe is perfect for something soft and sweet like shokupan. Otherwise known as Japanese milk bread, shokupan dough is crafted with milk and tangzhong, a gelatinous paste made by cooking flour and water together on the stove. The result is a soft and fluffy white bread with a sweet, milky finish. If you prefer a more toothsome bite, brioche or challah offer a similar sweetness, but because they are made with eggs, have a denser and chewier texture than shokupan.

The recipe is simple, and it only takes about three minutes for the sugar to caramelize and turn golden brown. Because the caramelized sugar will remain sticky while it's still hot, allowing the toast to cool for a few minutes will give the sugar time to become crispy. If you're looking to spice things up, mix in a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice with the butter and brown sugar. Just as good naked as it is dressed up, you can enjoy brown sugar toast with a hot cup of coffee, or otherwise gussy it up with the addition of fresh berries and whipped cream.  A smear of apple or pumpkin butter can infuse your brown sugar toast with the warming tastes of fall. And with just a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some baked apples, your new favorite breakfast can instantly be transformed into your new favorite dessert!