Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Bread Stapler

A tool to fasten slices of bread together
  [vote for,

Unfortunately our toastie maker is currently suffering from a terminal case of nonstick surface failure, so I had to resort to digging the toastabags out of the drawer they were languishing in in order to make a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch in the ordinary pop-up toaster.

Whilst the toastabags are adequate for the preparation of toasted sandwiches with fillings that are solid at room temperature, they are much less useful for the more liquid toastie fillings such as baked beans, as they lack the edge-sealing capability of the true toastie machine.

The invention is thus a device similar to a stapler that could be used to seal the edges of two slices of bread together to ensure the containment of a (semi-)liquid filling, in order that the resulting sealed sandwich can then be toasted in an ordinary upright toaster without leaks.

prufrax, Jan 08 2021

Toaster Pita Pocket recipes https://www.bbcgood...aster-pitta-pockets
[kdf, Jan 08 2021]

Sandwich crimper https://www.pampere...s/Cut-N-Seal/100130
$12. Unfortunately bread lacks sufficient structural integrity to hold together in a toaster, no matter how well sealed. [Voice, Jan 08 2021]

Food Glue - https://www.blossom...eed-it-in-your-life
Gum Tragacanth - AKA carboxymethyl cellulose AKA "Tylose" [kdf, Jan 08 2021]

Single use self-destructing toaster Single use self-destructing toaster
Prior Art [8th of 7, Jan 08 2021]

Cast Iron Pie Cooker Sandwich Makers https://www.amazon....pfire/dp/B0782SCY9B
[tatterdemalion, Jan 08 2021]

Toaster Salad https://www.gocomic...09?ct=v&cti=1441569
[kdf, Jan 09 2021]

Thermal, structural and mechanical characterization of Nephila clavipes spider silk in southwest Colombia https://www.science...i/S2405844020321058
[kdf, Jan 11 2021]


       What would the "staples" be composed of ? They need to be edible.   

       A form of cardboard akin to rice-paper might work.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       Probably needs to be something slightly bendable - maybe some form of dough that bakes to crispness in the toaster.   

       Or go for the no-staple fastener method that crimps the bread together, though that would rely on the bread being fresh and soft enough to crimp together properly...
prufrax, Jan 08 2021

       // some form of dough that bakes to crispness in the toaster. //   

       Hmmm. It needs to have the mechanical strength to penetrate the bread (not necessarily the crust) when it's pressed in; unless it's a "hollow needle" system, where a tool first punches through the bread, then on withdraw injects a material with elastic, adhesive properties.   

       A modified form of cheese might work for that ... stitching rather than stapling, using mozzarella ?   

       Crimping won't work if the filling between the bread is too "generous".   

       What about a "zip" ? If the crust were cut in a dovetail pattern, the sandwich could be created and then the two sides interlocked. That would require the crust to have specific mechanical properties, but that's OK, because you can make money on selling the special bread for the system.   

       [+] by the way.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       Use a mini-pita bread. Cut off just enough of one end to add your fillings (not so stuffed that it won't fit the toaster slot). Toaster bag optional, if you want to make sure it really doesn't leak.
kdf, Jan 08 2021

       Well, again a "hollow needle" system would allow filling to be injected with only a small aperture, and quite viscous substances could be inserted if sufficient pressure was used. It would be similar to the way some types of donuts are filled. You wouldn't need to cut off any part of the pitta.   

       That wouldn't work for sheet materials like ham, though.   

       It's an interesting concept, and worthy of posting as an idea in its own right; it's a slight divergence from the User Requirements Specification, however.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       You could mince ham if you were injecting it.
Voice, Jan 08 2021

       Indeed, you are perfectly correct, but some consumers prefer their ham as a contiguous sheet rather than a paste.   

       It might be possible - with a large-bore injector - to insert small cubes of ham, which would deform elastically under the pressure of the injection system, but more or less resume their original form once within the casing.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       Inject ground ham mixed with a gel intended to harden somewhat harder than usual. The same way they make spam "ham" that people think is one contiguous piece.
Voice, Jan 08 2021

       With very finely-sliced ham and a bit of origami, you could fold the ham into a linear injectable form that unfolds inside the pitta bread...
prufrax, Jan 08 2021

       Yes, that might work.   

       If the pitta were constrained between two plates during the injection process, then the "ham" would tend to form a sheet. A multi-step process, or multiple orifices at the tip of the same injector (a flattened one for the ham) might well be the approach to try.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       Pitta is a good workaround but surely it should be possible to engineer a bread slicing machine that could slice a normal pan loaf so as to give conjoined pairs of slices
pocmloc, Jan 08 2021

       If the device could firstly make a single cut - probably from the base of the loaf - and then working from side to side, a "pocket" would be created. Then the entire assembly is sliced off the end of the loaf as a single unit.   

       The filling could then be installed, as a complete flat assembly, through the slot.   

       Then there just needs to be a way of keeping the slot closed during cooking; but if it were toasted in one of those horizontal "conveyor" toasters, the sort with a conveyor made with thin wires, it might not even need a closure, since if the filling didn't liquefy excessively, gravity would do the rest.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       It's adjacent to the non-food zone but 80% gluten 8% water 12% butane slurry possibly turns into instant-set food glue. Just paint it on the edges and squeeze them together.
beanangel, Jan 08 2021

       Would you be good enough to qualify "possibly" with a trifle more detail ?
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       8th, you beat me to it. I'd also like to know how to make a "butane slurry" when butane is a gas at room temperature and normal pressure. And not necessarily good to stick in a toaster, though I know you like explodey things.   

       There ARE edible glues - but I don't know which ones might work in a toaster.
kdf, Jan 08 2021

       // not ... in a toaster //   

       We have made some progress in that rather specialised field of endeavour. <link>
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       There's a much better way than a butane slurry. It does require research though. Novacaine injections are eutectic organic chemicals; all the ingredients are dry powders that when combined turn to a liquid. The opposite of this is an amalgam, where liquids together become solid.   

       That there can be an organic chemical eutectic holds out the possibility there could be an organic chemical amalgam. Rice hull wax and fractionated wheat germ oil might do it. Perhaps there is some rare minute % purified organic chemical ingredient in wheat that can form an amalgam. Hmmm.
beanangel, Jan 08 2021

       [link] to Campfire bread toaster things.   

       Open, add bread slice, add filling, add another slice, close and toast over open flame. They work quite well and should hold together at least until the first bite.
tatterdemalion, Jan 08 2021

       You're looking for a polyester-type polymerization reaction, where a monomer is catalyzed by a small amount of an organic peroxide.   

       If you could get a short-chain polysaccharide to behave in the same way, with a short reaction time (but not excessively exothermic) you might be on to something...   

       Molten sugar ?
8th of 7, Jan 08 2021

       Now, that is starting to head dangerously close to auto-toasting tostie territory...
prufrax, Jan 09 2021

       If you are bold and willing to press the bread together with your hands, or they are just making crustless filled sandwiches at a factory, I think you could do it with lasers.   

       The computer camera looks at the Uncrustable(tm) sandwich to be /"toastie"(?) and everywhere you press two pieces of bread together, right next to your fingers, but not on your fingers, the laser cofocally percusses the bread together while micro slicing/sculpting it. The laser might even carve, at a autorepetitive "starcap" diffraction grating field, an expanse of little upstanding tubes and holes out of the two adjacent pieces of bread, and then laser percuss their tops to basically rivet the sandwich together. I think IR lasers or ThZ lasers could see through bread enough to cofocalize at different layers in the bread.   

       Is factory-laser welded bread of any use? Elaborate petites-fours? Three thirds cookies could be produced. The cookies are highly affordable, and the factory lasers are cheap.
beanangel, Jan 09 2021

       If you employ some simple "outside-the-toaster" style thinking, why not lay the toaster on its side? To quote your idea: //sandwich can then be toasted in an ordinary upright toaster without leaks//   

       I have tested this theory using my own toaster and the toasted bread still pops when done, but obviously it does so horizontally instead of vertically.   

       Two caveats, though: 1. Unless your toaster is one that has "cool walls", you will need to lay it on something that will withstand exposure to the hot metal. 2. You should probably position a plate or saucer beside the toaster to catch the ejected sandwich when the toasting cycle is completed.
Canuck, Jan 09 2021

       Hi Canuck. I hate to admit this, but some of this page is confusing to me. Just some though.
blissmiss, Jan 09 2021

       Ah, we had a horizontal toaster when I was a kid, long before toastie machines were even a thing. It had parabolic reflectors to reflect the heat from the heating element at the back so as to toast the bread from both sides at once - which of course meant that you could also use it for cheese on toast, quick pizzas, toasted sandwiches, sugar on toast, and other bread-based after-school shenanigans.   

       The horizontal toasters aimed at home use that you see on sale nowadays all appear to have missed the point and only cook the bread from below.
prufrax, Jan 09 2021

       Ahhh, so it was a "broiler" toaster. If you placed a slice of pizza on it, both sides would be heated, cheese melty and running all over, and now I'm hungry. Hmmm.
blissmiss, Jan 09 2021

       it was explicitly NOT a broiler. It even said so in large letters engraved into the front: "DO NOT USE AS A BROILER".
prufrax, Jan 09 2021

       [+] The evolution of the sandwich has just been greatly diversified.
wjt, Jan 10 2021

       I'm so sorry, [prufrax]. I stand/sit corrected.
blissmiss, Jan 10 2021

       + love it. I think a stitching idea could work with a fine piece of angel hair pasta, only softened enough to be pliable. All kinds of fancy stitching can be employed for strength and beauty. The tool would just be a large needle with a hole to thread the pasta through, but a mechanized version would be great.
xandram, Jan 10 2021

       // angel hair pasta, only softened enough to be pliable. //   

       The degree of softening would be critical. Dry pasta has a usefully high tensile strength, but fractures easily on bending. Thin pasta, with enough moisture and therefore flexibility to be stitched, would probably fail in extension ... it's not particularly elastic.   

       It could perhaps be modified by adding some sort of edible gum or resin to the initial mix.   

       If the pasta were of a flattened cross-section, and pre-formed into "U"-shaped "staples", they could be punched through the joint, then the protruding ends steamed to soften them and then be folded together to make a secure fixing.
8th of 7, Jan 10 2021

       What about spiral binding? Compress bread edges slightly, punch multiple holes, wind in pre-made (of what, I haven't decided) spiral, release.
Needs to be thin, stiff, good tensile strength, edible, able to survive toasting without losing strength. Some derivative of the bread-stick?
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 11 2021

       The question that has not so far been addressed is the actual physical / chemical process by which the true toastie machine manages to seal the edges of the sandwich.   

       This page is full of speculation about other mechanisms but it seems to me like those discussions about how to design a radically new bicycle - the power of invention is huge, but the power of incremental evolution is huger.   

       Rather than grabbing at sealing mechanisms and pressing them willy-nilly into service, we should take a step back.   

       What is needed is a large and fully-funded research lab, equipped with a range of different toastie machines. Each department within this lab complex would specialise in either a certain type of bread, testing it with multiple fillings, or a certain type of filling, testing it with multiple kinds of bread. There would be great sprawling wings of the building, and it should be surrounded by lush parkland. It would be sited close to a motorway junction for the regular deliveries of breads and fillings from all over the country. At the centre of the complex there would be a control room filled with screens and dials and toggle-switches where balding professors would run complex statistical analyses of the results. There wuld be a large table in the centre where they would map out the toastie construction space using little coloured flags to indicate crunchiness vs. toughness, or brownness vs sealing capacity, etc.   

       Then once we know how the seal is formed (there may be more than one mechanism) it should be possible to design a better toastie making process, but one fully informed by the research, rather than half-baked speculation involving pasta or something stupid.
pocmloc, Jan 11 2021

       An alternative solution to this edge-sealing problem would be to develop a form of cheese mastic. Ideally this would be supplied in a cylinder to fit into a standard caulking gun.
hippo, Jan 11 2021

       Yes, cheese is good.   

       [poc], you failed to mention the staff of brilliantly intelligent, highly qualified, yet very attractive young female research assistants in well-tailored white coats, the ones with a thing for balding professors ...
8th of 7, Jan 11 2021

       A stitching mechanism could still fit with the stapler-style form factor - just think of the chain stitchers used to sew sacks shut.   

       Whilst wheat-based pasta is quite easily broken, there are other possibilities in the noodle space - bean thread is very flexible when soaked for instance.
prufrax, Jan 11 2021

       Would a protein-based fibre be a better option than a carbohydrate-based one ? Spider silk is immensely strong, as is silk, tho probably not very digestible. But a thread which was a carbohydrate base reinforced with protein polymers might have the appropriate mechanical qualities, be relatively palatable and chewable, and not produce an inordinate amount of disruptions to the consumer's digestive system.
8th of 7, Jan 11 2021

       "Spider silk is immensely strong, as is silk, tho probably not very digestible."
—8th of 7, Jan 11 2021

       Unless you're a spider. Many eat their own web daily to reusue the silk proteins. The question of toastability is still open though.
kdf, Jan 11 2021

       If it de-natures or pyrolizes too easily, it'll be no good in that application.   

       However, if it's mixed with a carbohydrate which has intumescent properties, then the "core" might retain sufficient integrity during the cooking process to give a satisfactory outcome.   

       Extruding a coaxial strand is a well-established technology.   

       <Wonders if there are any worthwhile research grants going for investigating thermal degradation of arachnid silk/>
8th of 7, Jan 11 2021

       Apply for a grant? Absolutely! I did find this...   

       "Spider silk loses 10 % of water content at 150 °C with significant changes at 400 °C, while the mechanical characterization indicates that the spider silk is much tougher than Kevlar 49 and Nylon 6 since it is capable of absorbing more energy before rupture." (link)   

       But since the research didn't specifically test it in toasters, you have an opportunity for more study.
kdf, Jan 11 2021

       // the research didn't specifically test it in toasters //   

       Well, that hardly qualifies it as "academically rigorous" then, does it ?   

       "Here's my finished Ph.D. dissertation on the mating habits of rare Amazonian tree frogs."   

       "Did you try putting them in a toaster ?"   

       "Er ... no ?"   

       "Better go back and crank up the ol' Breville, then ... the committee's not going to even look at it if you didn't try the 'toaster test'.... "   

       "But some of these frogs are on the verge of extinction !"   

       "Oooh, best do it soon, then, while you've still got exemplars available."   

       Crunchy frog, anyone ... ?
8th of 7, Jan 11 2021

       I've eaten crunchy frog (legs) ... as well as crunchy spider.   

       Frogs DO taste remotely like chicken. Spiders, meh ... to me they don't taste much like anything beyond whatever they're fried in. Like Gagh, I'm sure they're best when served live.
kdf, Jan 11 2021

       What about a bread crimper that folds the edge of one slice around that of the other and smushes them together?
Cuit_au_Four, Jan 12 2021

       That's pretty much what a regular sandwich toaster does, [Cuit].   

       Please, do try to keep up; either that, or go back to sleep.
8th of 7, Jan 12 2021

       {placeholder for pun about staple diet}
pertinax, Jan 12 2021

       {placeholder for witty retort to [pertinax]'s pun}
hippo, Jan 12 2021

       {placeholder for ironic riposte to previous two annos.}
8th of 7, Jan 12 2021

       {placeholder for peacemaking comment for those above}.
blissmiss, Jan 12 2021

       {placeholder while I go make a sandwich}.
kdf, Jan 12 2021

       We have a sandwich pocket maker. It simply heats the edges together and makes two slices of bread into two toasted and sealed triangles. Yours on Amazon for $20.
RayfordSteele, Jan 12 2021

       //you failed to mention the staff of brilliantly intelligent, highly qualified, yet very attractive young female research assistants in well-tailored white coats, the ones with a thing for balding professors ...// Can I tell them to make me a sammich?
Voice, Jan 13 2021

       May I suggest a similar yet subtly different product? Called the...
Spread Tabler.
Making all your spreads into a grid of neat little cubes with the same size and pitch as the indentations in your waffle.
sninctown, Jan 13 2021

       // Can I tell them to make me a sammich? //   

       You could, but you'd be much better advised to invite her to one of the many gourmet eateries the establishment boasts and buy her a (subsidised) sandwich and coffee ... it's the gesture that counts.   

       On the downside, you may have to put up with her talking about herself. It's something that human females do quite a lot.   

       There may well, however, be a more positive side, as long as you've thoroughly practised smiling, nodding in agreement, and saying "Really ?" at the right moments (without actually listening, of course - again, it's the gesture that counts).
8th of 7, Jan 13 2021

       You're like a god
Voice, Jan 13 2021

       You mean to say you don't believe in him?
pertinax, Jan 13 2021

       I mean he's directly responsible for multiple genocides.
Voice, Jan 13 2021

       Awwww, shucks ... it's true, though. Natural talent, we suppose ...
8th of 7, Jan 13 2021


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