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Friday
Feb292008

Well-Bread: A Daring Bakers Challenge, and Seriously Sweet Sandwich Mischief

 

Sandwich Project

Breadmaking is an all-consuming process, both physically--and, in our opinion, emotionally as well. It involves patience (let the dough rise!), attention (is that yeast proofed?), proximity (don't let it rise in drafty spaces !) and yes, even a little tough love (punch the dough!). But when all is said and done, it's worth the effort: one needs only to take a hot, fresh loaf out of the oven and taste a piece, heated as though from within, upon which butter will melt like a fading apparition, to see why breadmakers are so dedicated to their art. The sense of accomplishment a baker feels upon completing successful loaves is simply incomparable--this much much we can attest to, having completed this month's Daring Baker's challenge (Julia Child's French Bread Recipe, suggested by Breadchick Mary and I Like To Cook's Sara).



However, if you're at all like the Cakespy crew, this moment can be short-lived, quickly giving way to thoughts like "How can we turn this bread into a dessert?". After all, the breadmaking process does work up an appetite. But what to make? Bread Pudding? French Toast (or, if you're feeling fancy, pain perdu)?While both are sweet choices indeed, after the physical work of making the bread, both just sounded so...hard. It was then that the answer came to us: why not fry up some sweet sandwiches? Quickly we assembled a grouping of sweet fillings and fried up our loaf, grilled-cheese style, in a griddle; here's how it all came out:


Cake Frosting SandwichCake Frosting Sandwich
Frosting Sandwich: Our first experiment was a cake frosting sandwich. It seemed like a pretty safe bet; after all, bread with butter never fails to satisfy, and this is pretty much sweet butter, right? So we buttered up two slices and spread a thick frosting smear (pink, of course) in-between. The end result was a little runny, but was extremely delicious--the pinch of salt in the bread added a perfect complement to the sweet, creamy frosting. This one could be habit-inducing.


Cookie DoughSandwich Project
Cookie Dough Sandwich: When Atkins Dieters have nightmares, they probably look like this: a soft, rich spoonful of warmed cookie dough sandwiched between freshly baked bread slices, lightly buttered and fried. The resulting combination is a study in sinfulness: carbohydratey, slightly salty, rich, and sweet--all at once. As you might imagine though, moderation is key with this sandwich: a little goes a long way.


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Couverture and Coconut Sandwich: This combination was dreamed up in the grocery store, where these two toppings were sold next to one another in the bulk aisle. It turned out to be a serendipitous pairing indeed--the coconut, which was not sweetened, added the slightest crunch to the velvety melted couverture (not tempered--eek!), as well as offering a nice contrast to the extreme sweetness. As noted above though...small bites of this rich little guy.


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Melty Mint Sandwich: Ah, melty mints, is there a cuter thing in the world than thee? It's impossible to not smile when greeted with this chocolate-chip sized version of nonpareils. But does all of this cuteness mean a tasty sweetwich? As we discovered, the heated chips (which retained their shape for the most part during the frying, protected by the bread) made soft explosions as they melted in your mouth, and the sprinkles added a delightful texture to the mix: pleasuretown, ahoy.



Sandwich ProjectSandwich Project
Tofu Cream cheese, sweet coconut and pear sandwich: Thrown together with what was left in our kitchen, this combination was dense, rich, and lending to the toffutti cream cheese, a bit savory--and overall, deeply satisfying. Though it might have tasted even better on a slightly saltier bread to balance out the sweetness of the coconut (which we'd sugared for this version), all in all, we'd add this one to our lunch box. Vegan, to boot--we even used butter substitute for the frying!

So, adventure over, what have we learned?

The hardest part of this experiment was actually getting past the mental block that sandwiches ought to be savory; there was a certain part of the whole "sweet sandwich" concept that was hard to wrap the mind around. But really, most of the experiments were quite good: the sweet fillings were balanced by the texture and taste of the bread, lending an element of surprise and newness to both elements. Does this mean that fast-food joints ought to consider changing format? Well, perhaps not; in their extreme richness and sweetness, these sweetwiches are probably not a main-ticket item. But as an add-on or impulse item? Well, let's just say that when you start seeing the mini dessert-sandwich revolution picking up speed in chains across the country, remember where you saw it first.


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Reader Comments (104)

wow! such a great way to eat it. I had mine with garlic and butter which should taste good but I have over drizzled them with salt and it tasted like me drowning in the sea! lol!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterBig Boys Oven

I'm sure your bread turned out great but I can't stop laughing when I look at the photos of what you ended up doing with it. That was quite the punk rock approach to the challenge!!! Love it!!!! My favorite? The chocolate chip cookie dough sandwich!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterAran Goyoaga

Fantastic! More of the world needs to catch on to such sandwich fillings. I do a lot of cake-baking, and frequently use ganache to ice and end up with leftovers - my flatmates figured out pretty quick that ganache on toast is a mighty fine snack, and buttercream can be used up in just the same way. :-)

I've been watching from the wings for a while, by the way, love the blog!

~Rosa

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterRosa

"How can we turn this bread into a dessert?" .. Hahaha.. I love a bit of dessert, just like anyone else, but even I would draw the line at Cookie Dough Sandwich!

No wait.. drawing the line there would sort of mean that I'd endorse Frosting Sandwich, and even Melty Mint Sandwich.. or Tofu Sandwich..

argh!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterY

LOL - I love how you have taken what was a massive project and developed it into something else altogether! These sandwiches are great.

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterCakelaw

"The Mini Dessert-Sandwich Revolution"?! You kill me. I do have to tell you that there was a restaurant here in billyburg (sadly closed) that used to make chocolate panini to DIE for.

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

this is definitely the sweetest way to treat a french bread!! love love your photos!! great job for this month's db challenge!!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterDhanggit

A frosting sandwich? Yowza! My mom says my niece can eat right out of the bowl, so I'll be passing on the idea to her for her next babysitting date. What a fun idea!

I love that pink frosting in between!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterAsha

Simply gorgeous bread, I wish mine came out so fluffy and perfect! Plus, those sandwiches look as swoony-worthy as any other dessert. I love sweet sandwiches! One of my favorites is grilling marshmallows and chocolate- It's like a s'more without the graham crackers, so you can pretend it's more "balanced" as a meal! ;)

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterBitterSweet

Very cute sandwiches and some delectable looking bread!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterL Vanel

the bread is too beautiful to eat! love the colorful decoration you put on it!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterVeron

I do love a strawberry and chocolate panino, or even plain Nutella. Both far too common for this experiment methinks.

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterGeggie

french bread and nutella is divine.

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

leave it to a cakespy to start a mini dessert sandwich revolution!
Love the one with the pretty chips!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I love your inventiveness (and gorgeous photos!). Cookie dough sandwich? Well, I daresay that must become my new brunch basic! And why not sweet sandwiches? What is a beloved pain au chocolat, if not a chocolate sandwich??

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

You are a genius, I am sure of it. Brillant!

February 29 | Unregistered Commenterslush

Very very nice phots, makes the food look so delicious! I see the Rule of Thirds in play here, good on you! :D:D:D

February 29 | Unregistered Commentercuriousfoodie

What a fun idea and the photos are beautiful! The cookie dough sandwich looks like it's almost lethal.

Your sandwiches look absolutely sinful! Love all the colors and pictures.

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

These are sandwhiches you make at 11:30 pm when you are in your dark pantry scouring for something sweet. I think I just had dejavu.

These sandwichs are sooo lovely!!!Gloria

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

You're a maniac and I LOVE it!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterJoy the Baker

Thanks for your comment at my blog. I absolutely love all your sandwiches. I never thought of putting other kind of sweets into the sandwich beside peanut butter and jelly :)

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterI Cook4Fun

Heehee Oh I love how you've turned french bread into a sweet treat!! Wonderful post!

Rosie x

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterRosie
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