Milk toast is a breakfast food consisting of toasted bread dipped in milk. Milk toast was a popular food throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century, especially for young children and for the ailing, for whom the food was thought to be soothing and easy to digest. Although not as popular today, milk toast is still considered a comfort food.
Milk toast version I
This recipe, though of common domain, is provided in the food writer M.F.K. Fisher's book An Alphabet for Gourmets under the title MILK TOAST for the Ill, Weak, Old, Very Young, or Weary.
- 1 pint (570ml) milk, part cream if the person is not forbidden that
- 4 slices good bread
- sweet butter, if butter is allowed
- salt, pepper, if not a child or very ill
Heat the milk to the simmering point. Meanwhile have ready 4 freshly toasted slices of bread. Butter them generously. Heat a pretty bowl, deeper than it is wide. Break the hot buttered toast into it, pour the steaming but not boiling milk over it, sprinkle a very little salt and pepper on the top, and serve at once.
Milk toast version II
This recipe comes from the 1918 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer, a famous home-cooking author and instructor of the early 20th century.
- 1 pint (570ml) scalded milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- 2 ½ tablespoons bread flour
- 6 slices dry toast
Add cold water gradually to flour to make a smooth, thin paste. Add to milk, stirring constantly until thickened, cover, and cook twenty minutes; then add salt and butter in small pieces. Dip slices of toast separately in sauce; when soft, remove to serving dish. Pour remaining sauce over all.
Although both above recipes call for salt, milk toast may also be made sweet by the omission of salt and pepper and the addition, instead, of sugar. Other optional ingredients for sweet versions include cinnamon, honey or a touch of vanilla, but piquant and exotic ingredients should be avoided, as the primary purpose of milk toast is to provide a food soothing to the palate and to the digestion.
Corn starch may be substituted for flour.