On the Guardian Word of Mouth blog today Oliver Thring wrote an excellent piece about the joys of Soreen. My own proclivities regarding that most regal of loaves are well-documented, and Ollie kindly phoned me for a quote. Amongst other things I suggested that maltloaf should absolutely not be toasted, its sugar content meaning it burns too easily.
This caused an inevitable wave of controversy – “absolutely DO toast” was one response. Well, I don’t agree. Soreen, I would argue, is one of the few contexts in which cold, cold butter is preferable to soft. As Marina O’Loughlin so sagely says, Soreen ought to be buttered so abundantly that “you can see toothmarks in the butter”. This is impossible with a toasted slice.
Second of all, toasting it means the breakdown of sugar causes an already sticky loaf to turn into toffee, and you are left tonguing your teeth in an effort to prize caramelised bits of maltloaf from the back of your molars like some gluttonous Sisyphus. It won’t budge!
To sum up – sticky chew cold butter good. Crunchy chew melty butter bad.
What do you think?