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Sandwich Tips & Techniques

Contents: Breads | Types of Bread | Bread Storage | Butter, Mayonnaise and other Spreads - Their Purpose - Butter - Mayonnaise | Sandwich Fillings - Meats and Poultry - Cheese - Mayonnaise Based Salads - Vegetable Items - Miscellaneous | Types of Sandwiches - Hot - Cold | Making Sandwiches - Setting Up Table To Prepared Sandwiches - Ingredients: Prepare ingredients - Sanitation - Ingredient Portion control | Equipment - Storage equipment - Hand tools - Portion control - Cooking equipment | Service | Procedures for making simple cold sandwiches

BreadsSandwich Recipes from AlansKitchen.com

One of the purposes for sandwich bread is to give an edible covering for the food inside. The bread must do this and more. Importantly, good quality breads supply variety, texture, taste, and eye appeal to sandwiches, as well as providing bulk and nutrients.

Types of Bread

The most often used are Pullman or sandwich loaves of white bread. They are long, rectangular loaves that provide square slices of specified thickness, from 3/8 inch to 5/8 inch thick. You want your bread that is fine rather than coarse texture and firm enough to spread well.

Other kind of bread adds selection and compliments the filling. The following are some possibilities:

  • Cinnamon bread

  • Cracked wheat

  • Focaccia

  • French or Italian bread, split horizontally

  • Fruit and nut breads

  • Pita bread

  • Raisin bread

  • Rolls, including hard and soft rolls, hamburger and hot dog rolls, long rolls for submarine sandwiches.

  • Rye and pumpernickel

  • Whole wheat

Bread Storage

For a great sandwich, you want fresh bread. If the bread it stale or dry, you don�t want it. Here are measures to make sure your bread is fresh:

1. The bread should be as fresh as possible. If not, it stales quickly. Also, day old bread loses much of its freshness.

2. Keep your bread tightly wrapped and in moisture-proof wrapping. This stops it from drying and guards against picking up odors.

3. You should not wrap French bread and other hard-crust breads. Wrapping causes the crust to soften. They stale rapidly and it is best to use them the day they are baked.

4. You want to store bread at room temperature and away from ovens or hot equipment. Do not refrigerate. Refrigerated bread becomes stale faster.

5. If you must keep bread more than a day, it may be frozen. Without unwrapping, thaw frozen bread.

6. For toasting, you may use day-old bread without loss of quality.

Butter, Mayonnaise and other Spreads

Their Purpose

1. Protects your bread from soaking up moisture from the filling.

2. They add flavor.

3. They also add moisture

Butter

You want butter soft enough so that when you spread it, you do not tear the bread. You may soften it by whipping in a mixer or by simply letting it stand at room temperature for half an hour. You may use margarine as a substitute. You may use flavored butters with the apt fillings.

Mayonnaise

You may prefer to use mayonnaise because it adds more flavor. However, butter protects the bread better than mayonnaise. Because of the danger of food borne disease, you want to serve your mayonnaise sandwiches immediately or refrigerated at once and kept refrigerated until you are ready to eat.

Sandwich Fillings

The filling is the heart of the sandwich. You may serve nearly any kind of food between two slices of bread and it would taste great. Here are some possible fillings, you may use separately or in combination.

Meats and Poultry

Most sandwich meats are pre-cooked; however, some you cook to order. Sliced meats dry out and quickly lose flavor. Avoided slicing farther ahead than necessary and keep sliced meats covered or wrapped. You may use leftovers. However, only if they are of good quality and have been correctly handled and stored to avoid contamination. Use thin slices because they are tender and the sandwich is easier to eat. In addition, many thin slices make a thicker sandwich than one or two thick slices of the same total weight.

Cheese

Like meats, cheese dries out rapidly when unwrapped and sliced. When you slice ahead, your slices should remain covered until ready to use.

Mayonnaise Based Salads

The most popular salads for sandwich filings are tuna salad, egg salad, chicken or turkey salad, and ham salad.

Vegetable Items

Lettuce, tomato, and onion are indispensable in sandwich production. In addition, nearly any vegetable used in salads may also be included in sandwiches.

Miscellaneous

  • Hard-Cooked egg
  • Jelly
  • Peanut Butter

Types of Sandwiches

Hot

Simple hot sandwiches consist of hot fillings, usually meats, between two slices of bread or two halves of a roll. They may also contain items that are not hot, such as a slice of tomato or raw onion on a hamburger. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and all their variations are the most popular hot sandwiches.

You make open-faced hot sandwiches by placing buttered or unbuttered bread on a plate, covering it with hot meat or other filling, and topping with a sauce, gravy, cheese, or other topping. Some versions you brown under the broiler before serving. You normally eat this type of sandwich with a knife and fork.

Grilled sandwiches, you know also as toasted sandwiches. They are simple sandwiches that you butter on the outside and brown on the griddle or in a hot oven. Sandwiches including cheese are popular for grilling.

Cold

You make simple cold sandwiches with two slices of bread or two halves of a roll, a spread, and a filling. Experts call them simple because you make them with just two slices of bread, not because they are necessarily simple in construction. Simple cold sandwiches range from a single slice of cheese or meat between two slices of buttered bread to complex assembly like the submarine sandwich (also called a hero sandwich or a grinder), a long Italian roll filled with salami, ham, capocollo, or bologna, provolone cheese, peppers, onions olives, tomatoes, and more. Most popular sandwiches fall into the cold category.

For a multi-decker sandwich, you make it with more than two slices of bread (or rolls split into more than two pieces) and with several ingredients in the filling. The club sandwich is a popular multi-decker sandwich, made of three slices of toast and filled with sliced chicken or turkey breast, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and bacon. You cut it into four triangles.

You make open-faced sandwiches with a single slice of bread, like large canap�s, which is what they are. Tea sandwiches are small, fancy sandwiches generally made from light, delicate ingredients. Importantly, you trim bread of crusts.

Making Sandwiches

The preparation of sandwiches requires a great deal of handwork. Many individual motions may be required especially if the sandwiches are multi-decker or have several ingredients. Whether you are making sandwiches in quantity or to order, your goals must be to reduce your motions to make the production as efficient and quick as possible.

Setting Up Table To Prepared Sandwiches

Any setup involves two elements: ingredients and equipment.

Ingredients

Prepare ingredients

Mix fillings, prepare spreads, slice sandwich meats and cheeses, you separate lettuce leaves, slice tomatoes, prepare garnishes, and so on. Simply, have everything you need ready ahead of time, so there is nothing left to do but put the ingredients together.

Arrange or store ingredients for maximum efficiency. To reduce your movements to a minimum, the ideal setup has everything you need within easy reach of both hands. Depending on the kitchen layout, this may not be possible. However, try to get as close to it as possible.

Arrange ingredients so you can use both hands. For example, while the left hand reaches for the bread, the right hand reaches for the butter spreader. Then, while the right hand puts the spreader back, the left reaches for the sliced ham. The right hand, on its way back form the butter, picks up the slice of cheese and so on.

Two other considerations are important while you are talking about ingredients.

Sanitation

Because you subject cold sandwiches to a lot of handling and they are not cooked, it is especially important that ingredients be properly refrigerated and protected at all times.

Ingredient Portion control

You want to slice items by the count and by weight. If portioning is by the count, you must take care, during pre-prep, to slice to the proper thickness. If done by weight, you can place each portion on squares of waxed paper and stacked in a container.

Equipment

Storage equipment

For cold ingredients, you want them as cold as possible or hot area for hot ingredients, such as roasted meats.

Hand tools

They are the basic requirements for sandwich making and are often the only tools you need. The equipment includes spreaders, spatulas, and knives, including a serrated knife and a sharp chef�s knife for cutting the finished sandwich. A cutting board, of course, is also important.

Portion control

This equipment includes scoops for fillings and a potion scale for other ingredients.

Cooking equipment

This is necessary when making most hot sandwiches. You will use griddles, grills, broilers, and deep fryers for cooking hot sandwich components. You can use microwave ovens to heat ingredient or finished sandwiches.

Service

Except for hamburgers or hot dogs, you cut most sandwiches before serving. Cutting serves two purposes: one, it makes eating and handling the sandwich easier. Two, it makes an attractive presentation.

The first reason is by just cutting the sandwich in half, or if it is very large or thick, into thirds or quarters.

The second reason is displaying the cut edges to the outside rather than the crust edges. If you make the sandwich with great looking ingredients and it is attractively garnished it will be tasty and nice-looking. You serve little purpose by cutting and arranging the sandwich in difficult ways.

You may present hamburgers and other uncut sandwiches open-faced to display the attractive ingredients. For example, you present a hamburger version often called a California Burger with the meat on the bottom half of the bun. Next to the sandwich, you add a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato on the top half of the bun.

Procedures for making simple cold sandwiches

1. Prepare and collect all ingredients.

2. Gather necessary equipment, including wrapping materials.

3. Arrange bread sliced in rows on the tabletop.

4. Spread each slice with butter or whatever spread is required.

5. Place fillings evenly and nearly on alternate slices, leaving the other slices plain. Fillings should not hand over the edges of the bread. If the fillings is spreadable, spread it evenly to the edges.

6. Top the filled slices with plain buttered slices.

7. Stack two or three sandwich and cut with a sharp knife.

8. To hold, do one of the following.

a. Wrap separately in plastic, waxed paper or sandwich bags.

b. Place in storage pans, cover tightly with plastic wrap and over with clean, damp towels. The towels mush not touch the sandwiches; their purpose is to provide a moisture barrier to help prevent drying.

9. Refrigerate immediately and hold until served.

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