One of the things we all most miss when away from home is the bread we are used to. I’ve never really understood why I’m supposed to be all excited here about French bread. I guess that’s partly because the breads I miss most are all Italian. Fancy living in a place where Italian is a national language, but the Italian bread’s no good. Even more surprisingly, when I went to Venice a couple of years ago the bread was no good there either. Maybe it’s the Cornish pasty syndrome all over again, the idea that tradition is more strongly protected away from home and so the Italians in Australia do things better than in Italy.
Another serious bread problem here is getting good white Anglo-Saxon bread, something for which local Australians and English yearn. That, I’ve finally found this year. Globus does a loaf called Jasper which is perfect for white bread occasions. A steak sandwich for example. My steak sandwiches are made with fillet steak and who wants a tough sourdough messing with that delicate meat?
Another is Joe’s Muffins. I’m surprised to see I haven’t yet posted about these. It is a staple on the breakfast menu at Cafe Panette opposite the South Melbourne market. I have a strong distaste for those things in plastic packets that are called English muffins, so I started a trend in my circle of friends to have this on sourdough instead. But much better again is good plain white bread so my happiness was great when I discovered, finally, something that would pass the test here. Jasper bread. Yum. By the way, some French places have a thing they call English bread. It is always dire, avoid at all costs.
Preheat an oven and while that’s happening, layer from the bottom up:
a piece of toast, buttered if you like
avocado, sliced and squashed down onto the toast or mashed
the very nicest tomato deseeded and sliced
bacon which you have first fried: you can dice this or leave it as larger pieces.
cheddar cheese, sliced
As usual, the plainer the fare, the more it rests on the quality of its ingredients. I wouldn’t make this without the best bread, tomatoes and bacon. Avocado is either good or bad. And the cheddar is a matter of personal opinion.
Pop this into the oven until the cheese has melted. The reason I think this is better on soft English style white bread is the thickness and layers. If you really have to hack through strong bread to get a mouth-sized portion of this, by the time you’d done it, you’re building up a sweat and everything has capsized into a mess – and breakfast, as somebody wise should have once said, is not meant to be a time of struggle. Perhaps life isn’t meant to be easy, but surely, Mr Fraser, we are talking about life as it develops after breakfast.