Toast Water? Really? Or more accurately 'Toast- and- Water’, as Isabella Beeton put it. Like coddled egg, it’s one of those slightly fragile Victorian recipes intended, presumably, for invalids- and back in the dark days of Queen Victoria’s reign, there were plenty of those, including, ultimately poor old Mrs Beeton herself.
Surprisingly it actually tastes rather good. I’ve just made a jug of the stuff. The water takes on an attractive pale golden colour, and includes (as other bloggers have discovered) pleasing hints of nutty caramel, yeast and- wait for it- toast.
To MAKE TOAST- AND- WATER
Ingredients- A slice of bread, 1 quart of boiling water
Mode- Cut a slice from a stale loaf (a piece of hard crust is better than anything else for the purpose), toast it of a nice brown on every side, but do not allow it to burn or blacken. Put it into a jug, pour the boiling water over it, cover it closely and let it remain until cold. When strained, it will be ready for use. Toast- and- Water should always be made a short time before it is required, to enable it to get cold: if drunk in a tepid or lukewarm state, it is an exceedingly disagreeable beverage. If, as is sometimes the case, this drink is wanted in a hurry, put the toasted bread into a jug, and only just cover it with the boiling water; when this is cool, cold water may be added in proportion required- the toast- and- water strained, it will then be ready for use, and is more expeditiously prepared than by the above method.
(From Mrs Beeton’s Household Management, 1861)