Perhaps one of the most enduring 2010s food trends is the rise of avocado toast to brunch staple status. In fact, this type of open-faced sandwich has become so popular that certain powerful individuals have decided to blame the dish for an entire generation’s struggle to afford real estate.
Nonsense criticism aside, avocado toast is a tasty food item with a fairly straightforward recipe in its most basic form. Mash some avocado, place it on toasted bread and add salt, pepper and maybe a little bit of lemon. But the execution depends on the quality of the avocado ― as well as the toast.
“The bread is as important as the avocado,” Meggan Hill, executive chef for the recipe site Culinary Hill, told HuffPost. “A super-soft slice, even when toasted, will be mashed under the pressure of your knife and fork, while a slice that is too hard can be physically uncomfortable to eat.”
Lola Osinkolu, a home cook and blogger at Chef Lola’s Kitchen, believes the most important factors when selecting the right bread for avocado toast are flavor, texture and structure.
“I like to choose flavorful bread ― however, the flavor should not overpower the delicate taste of the avocados or other ingredients,” she said. “For instance, garlic cheese bread will overwhelm the mild avocado flavor.”
For texture, she looks for a chewy and tough bread that has a nice crunch when toasted, providing a contrast to the creamy avocado.
“Lastly, the bread should be able to support the weight of avocado and other ingredients without getting soggy underneath,” Osinkolu said. “The more porous and light the bread is, the quicker it will fall apart under pressure. White bread, for example, can be too soft to stand up to the weight of avocados.”
So which breads fit the bill and provide a nice base for avocado toast? Read on for some expert-backed choices.
“The best bread for avocado toast is one that is sized appropriately ― I prefer a size of about 5 inches long and 3 or 4 inches wide ― with a tight crumb to easily hold all the toppings on the toast. It should be soft and chewy yet substantial,” Hill said.
Her go-to bread for avocado toast is La Brea French Loaf sliced about 3/4-inch thick.
“It’s the perfect size, thickness, shape and texture for avocado toast,” Hill said. “The unbleached flour brings a hearty taste, and the loaf is soft enough for a bite yet sturdy enough to cut with a knife and fork, depending on where your toast takes you.”
“My personal favorite is a toasted sourdough slice of bread,” said Alex Hill, a home cook and creator of Just Add Hot Sauce. “The texture is slightly chewy while the taste is slightly sweet, so it’s a nice balance for avocado toast with all the savory toppings.”
She is a fan of Trader Joe’s San Francisco-style sliced sourdough bread or anything fresh from a local bakery, and she likes to top her avocado toast with tomatoes, a squeeze of lemon and olive oil.
Chef Marshall O’Brien also recommended an artisan sourdough loaf for this brunch dish.
“From a taste standpoint, the mellowness from the avocado complements the tang from the sourdough to bring a delicious full flavor,” he explained. “From a health standpoint, the sourdough ― assuming it’s true sourdough bread ― is easier to digest, supporting probiotic, healthy bacteria, in the gut for better digestion and overall health.”
“For my avocado toast, I like the bread to be thin but still thick enough so that when I toast it, it’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside,” said recipe developer Marci Buttars of the food blog Tidbits. “I don’t like it when the bread is thicker than my layer of avocado on top.”
Her favorite store-bought option is Dave’s Killer Bread Thin Sliced 21 Whole Grains and Seeds.
“I love the whole grain taste with the avocado, and the seeds add a delightful crunch,” she noted.
Cookbook author Brian Theis also endorsed the brand, noting that Dave’s Killer “Good Seed” bread is his favorite.
“Toast it and you’re on your way to perfect avocado toast!” he said. “Clearly, run-of-the-mill white bread is not going to cut it.”
“Lately, I’ve been a fan of pumpernickel bread,” said Andrea Mathis, the registered dietitian behind the blog Beautiful Eats and Things. “Pumpernickel bread is made from whole-grain rye flour, which provides a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.”
Her preferred brands of pumpernickel bread are Pepperidge Farm Dark Pump Bread and Mestemacher Pumpernickel Bread.
“Pumpernickel bread is naturally dense and coarse, which makes it the perfect canvas for a hearty avocado toast,” Mathis added. “Its thick texture also helps to prevent the bread from becoming soggy once it’s topped with avocado and/or other toppings.”
“For my avocado toast, I add a fried egg, avocado and use thick slices of hearty multigrain bread,” said Carla Bushey of the food blog Adventures of a Nurse. “My go-to bread is Heidelberg bread because of the big thick slices and a crispy crust that’s full of flavor.”
She believes the nutty flavor of the bread offers a good balance for the taste of avocado and appreciates Heidelberg’s commitment to chemical- and preservative-free offerings.
Anything Thick And Homemade
“A thicker bread is a better choice when it comes to loading up a slice of toast with all of the additional delicious toppings, such as eggs, tomatoes and other vegetables, when making avocado toast,” said Sharee Hill, the food blogger behind Savory Spicerack.
She believes a thick homemade bread like a sourdough is the ideal choice for people preparing their own avocado toast.
“If you are not able to make homemade bread, your local grocery bakery would be the next best option,” Hill added.