Trying to put some new posts out there while I fix the old posts–here’s 1-6: Surprise Sandwich Loaf, which was made with a loaf baked from the dough I used for 20-12: Basic Rolls. I made this to break up into portions and take to work with me for lunch one week. It was delicious when first made, but with most things lost its appeal as the week went on.
I love toasted sandwiches. My high school job was at a Quizno’s, at which I came up with personal sandwich masterpieces which would be impossible to recreate had I been nothing but a customer. However, while I appreciate the efficiency of an entire toasted sandwich loaf, this particular execution leaves something to be desired.
Here’s my problem with this sandwich loaf, and perhaps with the very concept of sandwich loaves in general: the definition of a sandwich is typically filling between TWO slices of bread. If you attempt to make a sandwich loaf as displayed on the card for this recipe–unless you double cut the bread slices OR only put filling in between every other slice of bread–each portion is only going to have one slice of bread assigned to it.
Now, I’m aware of the concept of open-face sandwiches (full disclosure: the definition I linked above does allow for sandwiches to only have one slice of bread). However, if your intention is for this to be a to-go type of sandwich (like one you pack up and take for lunch at work), open-faced and previously toasted does not lend itself well to that purpose.
Therefore, when you try to eat/pack/transport this particular “sandwich”, you basically end up with a somewhat-soggy piece of bread with toppings partially adhered to either side of it. Definitely edible, but not exactly attractive. It’s also somewhat messy unless you eat it with a knife and fork, which is really pushing the limits of what constitutes a “sandwich” in my personal opinion.
You may disagree–that’s OK. I hear that’s what we do here on the Internet these days. 😉
Ingredients. I added salami and pepperoni to the suggested ham to get an Italian-type sub flavor–those are always my favorite at a sandwich shop. If you want it vegetarian, just omit the meat instead. I bet this would be delicious if you did it Caprese-style, with fresh basil or pesto, Mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. I would have liked to use a Mozzarella or Provolone cheese here, but Cheddar and Colby Jack were what I had in the house.
Can’t use anything that doesn’t agree with a toaster–hence why you don’t see any cold things like mayo or lettuce. As I learned during my Quizno’s days, it’s a poor idea to put those things on before the sub goes through the toaster. People will still ask you to do it anyway, and get annoyed when you try to explain to them why that’s a bad idea. #firstjobflashbacks
You have to skip ahead to step 4 to see that they’re going to eventually have you wrap the loaf in aluminum foil to toast it–might as well just start on the foil and save yourself any additional mess, especially if you try to transport it stuffed with ingredients. Plus, you can just wrap and store the remainder of the loaf in the foil afterwards.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this loaf was a result of splitting half of the 20-12: Basic Rolls dough and making a loaf out of it. Consider this recipe a possible subsequent outcome of that recipe, and of my Bread Series in general–instead of using a store-bought bread loaf, you could use that or other recipes to make your own.
Sliced the tomatoes–I’ll end up pulling these out when I eat it, but I’ll try to adhere to the recipe for now.
Sliced the square-shaped cheese slices into triangles for easier ingredient line-up and insertion (as they suggest). If you were making a traditional sub, you’d want to tessellate those cheese triangles–it’s very important for proper cheese distribution.
I also used spicy brown mustard instead of yellow mustard. Fancy mustards can be a controversial choice for some folks, but I’ll stick with it.
Cutting your tomato slices in half and off-setting them can also help with better, more consistent ingredient coverage. I think a good sandwich has even, level coverage for each layer–it’s a poor sandwich-maker who leaves components unevenly distributed and/or shaped. Edge-to-edge is always the ultimate goal.
Prior to toasting. I triple-checked the picture and the recipe: yes, you were supposed to only have one slice of bread between each set of ingredients (step 3 explicitly says it). No idea how you’re supposed to eat this without making a mess or abandoning a lot of toppings (or reassigning those toppings to in between the actual sandwiches), but here goes nothing.
Sprinkled cheese on top as the recipe suggested. I didn’t get 16 slices out of my bread as was listed in the recipe, but perhaps they intended you to have a larger loaf.
Wrapped and warming in my then-dirty-but-clean-now-I-promise toaster oven.
After toasting. I mean, it looks tasty, but you tell me–how the heck do you eat this without it turning into a big mess?
One more angle. I ended up basically making most of them into open-faced slices wrapped tight in plastic wrap to take for lunch. They tasted good, but were not ideal for office-lunch-type-sandwiches, which usually require less mess.