Bruschetta hangs on the quality of the bread you choose and how it is prepared.
Anything else is a sandwich. Nothing wrong with that, just give it its proper name.
Start with good bread – soft fluffy bread will be a let down as it will quickly become soggy once loaded with goodies. Choose bread with structure, such as sourdough or ciabatta, providing it is not too holey. Don’t slice the bread too thickly, especially if eating in hand rather than with cutlery.
Either grill the bread carefully over a barbecue grill rack heated to medium, or in a hot ridged grill pan, until lightly charred. Don’t go nuts and turn it to cinders. Be warned – the bread will quickly blacken if left unattended. The bread can be brushed lightly with olive oil before grilling for a smokier flavour. If slices are really large, cut them in half so they are more manageable. And, yes, if the weather is appalling and you can’t grill the bread outside, and you don’t have a suitable grill pan to use indoors, toast the bread in a toaster. However, it will lack the characteristic slightly charred and smoky flavour.
Rub the grilled or toasted bread with a cut clove of garlic (you can omit this if using garlic in the topping; I usually opt for two applications!), drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve as is, or let your imagination run wild and top with tasty tid bits.
And how do you pronounce Bruschetta? Try Brew-sket-tah (rather than brew-shet-tah). you get the idea … a hard K sound not a soft shhhh.