What Is Texas Toast?

Everything is bigger (and more buttery) in Texas.

Texas is the only state in the United States that's famous for its toast. We're not talking the Instagram-worthy avocado toasts. We mean the hot, buttery slices of processed white bread that are found throughout the Lone Star State. They often act as an extra serving utensil, a uniter, and a clean-up tool. So what makes Texas toast so different from your run-of-the-mill bread? Read below to learn the features of this Southern favorite:

What Makes Texas Toast Different?

At first glance, Texas toast may not stand out too much on the store shelf — it features a more square shape than a traditional loaf — but once prepared, you'll be able to tell all the difference. About twice as thick as standard bread, ranging from three-quarters to one inch, Texas toast cooks up crispy on the outside, but extra soft on the inside.

It's typically slathered with a hearty serving of butter (or margarine) before getting seared on a flat top grill until golden brown. Although some cooks may include a sprinkling of cheese or dusting of garlic powder, Texas toast purists insist the only ingredients you need are the toast and butter.

Barbecue with creamed corn and slaw and Texas Toast
Jeff R Clow / Getty Images

Where Did Texas Toast Originate?

There's not nearly as much debate over the origins of Texas toast as there is for other regional specialties, such as Buffalo wings. The main things we know is that it came to exist at the Pig Stand, a Texas barbeque restaurant chain, though the exact location and inventor varies depending on who's telling the story.

According to local legend, either Royce Hailey at the Beaumont location, W.W.W. Cross at the Denton store, or a combination of the two, get the credit for Texas toast's origination. The idea is that the inventor ordered doubly thick bread to impress customers, but once he learned that the hearty slices wouldn't fit in the toaster, they were instead buttered and toasted up right on the griddle. The toast was a smash hit, becoming a sought-after side for the chain's famous barbeque.

texas toast, slices stacked, some cubes

Where to Find Texas Toast

Texas toast's popularity isn't solely due to its deliciousness. It's doubly famous because of how convenient it is when served alongside saucy foods. The extra-thick slices are ideal for sopping up wet ingredients so not a drop is left on the plate. Because of this, you'll often find Texas toast served at diners, where a ladle of gravy is served on practically everything, barbeque stands with sauce-slathered meats, and fried chicken restaurants where the bread acts as a bed for soaking up any extra fatty goodness.

The affinity for Texas toast isn't relegated to local restaurants either. Fast food chains like Raising Cane's, Whataburger, Zaxby's, and Dairy Queen all have it on their menus, for locations both in and outside of Texas. Raising Cane's and Dairy Queen serve Texas toast alongside chicken fingers, while Whataburger uses it to create decadent patty melts, and Zaxby's does both, serving it as a side or a sandwich base.

For purchasing your own Texas toast, the most popular store-bought brand is Mrs. Bairds, a thick-cut white loaf that's excellent for barbeque sandwiches or as a side. Another option is the ironically named New York Bakery's Texas toast product line, all of which feature optional (and occasionally frowned upon) additions like garlic or melty cheese. Plus, you can always make a loaf of white bread at home and slice it extra thick for your own spin on Texas toast.

How to Use Texas Toast

The options are endless with how to use Texas toast. The obvious choice is to serve it alongside a saucy dinner like chicken fried steak dripping with gravy, ribs slathered in barbeque sauce, or marinara-laden spaghetti. Griddle up a few slices of buttery Texas toast to upgrade your next sandwich, burger, or grilled cheese. And Texas toast isn't just for dinner, it makes an excellent breakfast as a French toast base, and is equally delicious when dipped into over easy eggs.

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