The Biggest Mistake To Avoid When Making Croque Madame Sandwiches

French cuisine certainly isn't shy about using cream, butter, and oil to add richness and decadence to any entrée, via Cooking Channel. Perhaps such luxury can be found in a quiche Lorraine or within a coq au vin, but few palates can withstand the might of a Croque madame. This beast of a sandwich is for those who are bored with its cousin, the Croque monsieur. Both are the same, save for the egg atop the Croque madame, per MasterClass.

But what kinds of ingredients make up this royalty of a sandwich? For starters, béchamel sauce coats the bread slices, which are then layered with ham and cheese. Guyère cheese and French jambon are popular choices, per this MasterClass source. The sandwich is then fried in several tablespoons of melted butter, covered in béchamel sauce once again, then topped with a fried egg. Of course, poached and sunny-side-up eggs may be substituted as well.

But when making a Croque madame, mistakes are bound to happen. Most of them aren't too big of a deal, and you'll still end up with a rich and crispy sandwich. But one step may drastically affect how the sandwich turns out. Here's what that is.

Choose your bread wisely

According to Serious Eats, a Croque madame is nothing without its foundation: the bread. The source recommends slices of either brioche or white sandwich bread, as these are thin enough to crisp up quickly. Thin slices of bread will also highlight the flavor of the ham and cheese filling, while overly thick slices of bread will mask it. The bread should also not be "more than three-eighths of an inch thick, though, a quarter-inch thick is ideal," per this separate Serious Eats source.

It's also suggested to toast the bread on both sides for an ultra-crispy bite. This will also decrease the amount of steaming on the inside, which could result in "mushy" textures.

So next time you're making a Croque madame, opt for brioche, white bread, or even pain de mie, per MasterClass. The ham and cheese will stand out more, the textures will be crispier, and your Croque madame will taste rich and even more decadent.