Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Many Forms of Dutch Toast.

I came across a reference recently to ‘Dutch Toast,’ which was a mystery to me. Naturally I immediately detoured in search of clarification. Sadly – or interestingly – I found only more confusion.

Something about each of the following very different recipes indicated Holland or the Dutch people to the original authors of the recipes. I myself have no idea what the Dutch factor is in any of them, and hope you will send in your opinions and advice.

Firstly, the austere form of Dutch toast – which is surely rusks by another name?

Dutch Toast.
To make Dutch toast, take slices of very stale or hard bread and toast the same in the oven until brown. Dipe the slices in boiling water and set in the oven again until as crisp as desired. This is excellent, and a good way to utilize hard bread.
Bedford Daily Mail (Indiana) July 2, 1912

Another frugal example:
Dutch Toast.
Dutch toast is a simple dish for using up scraps of bread. Crumble the bread and place in a frying pan with a slice of butter. Add salt, pepper and sage if liked. It should be seasoned quite well. Add a small quantity of boiling water, cover closely, so the steam will soften the bread, stir sev-eral times and serve hot.
Breakfast, dinner and supper; or, What to eat and how to prepare it.
(Philadelphia, 1897)

And now for something much more substantial:

Dutch Toast.
Take a good round steak and scrape the meat off with a very sharp knife. Have ready your bread sliced as for toast, and butter it. Spread the meat on each piece of bread,
adding salt, pepper and butter, and run it into the oven only long enough to brown the bread. Very nice for luncheon.— Eleanor Freeman Lancaster.
How we cook in Tennessee. First Baptist Church (Jackson, Tenn. 1906)

The leftover meat version:

Dutch Toast.
Take the remains of any cold poultry or meat, mince it and season highly; add to it any cold dressed vegetable, mix it up with one or more eggs, and let it simmer till hot in a little grivy; have ready a square of toast, and serve it on it; squeeze over a little lemon-juice, and sprinkle with white pepper. Vegetables prepared in this way are excellent; cauliflower simmered in chicken broth, seasoned delicately and minced on toast, is a nutritive good luncheon for an invalid.
The Jewish manual; or, Practical information in Jewish and modern cookery
(London, 1846.)

Offal anyone?

Dutch Toast.
Take the liver from two fowls, boil till tender, and then chop very finely. Add to it sufficient butter to moisten, the yolk of one egg mixed with a gill of cream, seasoned with a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir all together, and then simmer over the fire until the mixture thickens. Have ready some rounds of fried bread, or good short pastry, spread with the mixture, sprinkle chopped white and yolk of egg over, and serve.
Petersburg Times (SA) Friday 30 September 1898

And the vegetarian option:

Dutch Toast
Half a pound of tomatoes, two ounces of butter, one tablespoonful of breadcrumbs, two ounces of grated cheese, one ounce of chopped parsley, pepper and salt to tast , toast.
Peel the tomatoes and fry them lightly in the butter. When they are well-cooked and soft, stir in the breadcrumbs, the grated cheese, and the chopped parsley. Add pepper and salt to taste, cook quickly for a few minutes and serve on toast.
The Farmer and Settler (Sydney, NSW) Friday 12 September 1924

P.S. A previous post on French Toast included a recipe for German Toast. Is there such a thing as Italian toast, I wonder? Spanish toast? Russian Toast?


Ferdzy said...

I think the clue is that it was used to use up scraps of bread; in other words it started out as a way to deal with leftovers and so was not a dish held in high regard. The english language is full of slurs against the Dutch, dating from the very long period of time that they were at war with each other. Consider Dutch treat (nobody actually being "treated"), Dutch oven (for people too poor to have a "real" oven), "in Dutch" (in trouble), Dutch courage (drunk), etc, etc.

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks, Ferdzy! Good insights. I do believe you may be right!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Dutch have similar recipes, only they call it "English Toast".

Anonymous said...

I imagine it is because the Germans make zwieback, which is what this sounds like. Dutch = German, a lot of the time.

mills said...

I think they may refer to the "Deutsch"(german) transformed to dutch. Like the Pennsylvanian Dutch are from southern Germany and Switzerland.