How to Make Great Sandwiches


Sandwiches are a staple of life in America.  We eat cold sandwiches and hot.  We consume tons of burgers.  We eat them for lunch and for dinner.  There is an infinite variety of sandwiches.  We’ll examine how sandwiches are made and explore recipes.

Sandwiches can be divided into four component parts: Breads, spreads, fillings, and garnishes.  We will briefly examine each.

Breads

Your choice of bread is largely a matter of preference.  You can use sandwich loaves in white, wheat, or rye.  You can use hearty hearth loaves of sourdough, peasant, or pumpernickel.  You can use dinner rolls or sandwich buns.

The bread should be thick enough and firm enough to support the sandwich.  A meat sandwich requires more support in the bread than does a cheese or egg salad sandwich.  Some breads need to be toasted to be firm enough to support the filling.  There should be a balance in quantity between the bread and the filling.  Tight crumbed breads can be sliced more thinly than open crumbed breads.

The flavor of the bread should complement but not overwhelm the filling.  A rye bread with caraway works well with a Rueben sandwich but may be overwhelming for a mild filling.

Our favorite breads for sandwiches include:

Spreads

Spreads such as mayonnaise, salad dressing, or butter are fat based and provide a barrier against moist fillings.  Without those spreads, tomatoes or pickles could turn a sandwich into a soggy mess.  Additionally, spreads add flavor and moistness.  Chicken or tuna salad sandwiches incorporate the spread with the filling.

Spreads include:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Guacamole
  • Jellies
  • Commercial sandwich spreads

Fillings

You can put whatever you want on a sandwich from peanut butter to meats.  Meats should be tender enough that you can bite through them without tearing the sandwich apart.  Thin sliced meats, “deli-sliced”, are much more tender and make ideal sandwich fillings.

The filling is the star of the sandwich.  Once the filling is chosen, breads, spreads, and garnishes are chosen to accompany it.

Garnishes

Garnishes add flavor and moisture to the sandwich.  They can range from vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes to pickled peppers, such as:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Sprouts
  • Pickles
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Fresh, sliced vegetables
  • Dips and spreads
  • Sliced fruits

Favorite Sandwich Recipes

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