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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)

Yum! My husband and I thought of smearing the bread with Nutella, but your sandwiches blow my mind! I think I'll have to make more bread just to try out some of these combos. I love sweet sandwiches.

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterCara

Wow those are some amazing sweet little bites! Your bread is lovely too.
x x x

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterGabi

Oh my!! I've been contemplating dessert panini a lot lately, but you went where I wouldn't have dared...and I'm so glad you did! Beautiful pics!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterPaniniKathy

my sweet tooth is screaming for joy at the sight of this!

February 29 | Unregistered Commenterceline

HAHAHAHA! I love the idea of a frosting sandwich! I actually posted a chocolate and peanutbutter, a nutella, and a white chocolate walnut sandwich post last week! wow were they delicious. I only wish I had waited for the french bread!
And I love those melty mint things!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterMary

You are just so fierce. Love your blog and love you.
-Clara

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterCB

Sweet! Literally! I love what you did with your bread.

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

This. Is. Genius.

I adore everything this post is based on. Cookie dough, coconut, sweets... marry me now. ^__^

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterIndigo

Those look outrageous! I'll be linking today.

February 29 | Unregistered Commenteranastasia

I love the description of the Atkins-nightmare-inducing cookie dough sandwich. How could you forget Nutella, though? That's my favorite with French bread. Nutella and bananas. Oh... YUM! :D

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

So many sweet options for Julia's bread! They all look delicious!

February 29 | Unregistered Commenterlinda

I LOVE what you've done with the sweet sandwiches! Now I just wish I had some more bread to try one out!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

OMG, a cookie dough sandwich?!?!

*Swoons*

Only you, my dear, only you! I am totally down for a tofutti sandwich though, YUM! I love dipping pretzels or wheat thin style crackers in it. (By the way, try to buy the yellow container of it, the green one has hydrogenated oils.)

haha I love your taste tests!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterNikki57

OMG, those sandwiches look awesome and ever so "dirty"!!! Yummy! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterRosa's Yummy Yums

PMS HEAVEN!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Wilkinson

And I thought butter with sugar and cinnamon on warm bread was dessert. You're killing me! Excellent way to have some fun with this. Loved it.

February 29 | Unregistered Commenterkellypea

Wow, these are great! Personally, I'm a fan of grilled peanut butter and jelly -- YUM. I am most disturbed and titillated by the chocolate chip cookie dough ... :-)

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterAllen

And I thought I was clever smearing on dulce de leche and chocolate... but, this? This is brilliant!

February 29 | Unregistered Commenterculinography

Those are some great ways to use the Frsnch bread! I really like the grilled frosting French bread sandwich. :)

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

I love that you took the bread and made fantastic dessert sandwiches from them (especially the chocolate chip cookie dough sandwich..)

Thanks for baking with Sara and I this month!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterBreadchick

What a charming and clever post! Of course, I expected nothing less from you. I laughed the whole way through. Melty Mint Sandwich! Adorable!

By the way, I received my Operagirl today. I love her!

Ok - my rss feed is not working! That is why I missed the contest last week and why I have to keep checking personally! It was working for awhile and now it is not! Boo.

But... you are an evil wench for dreaming up these sinful concoctions. I love milk chocolate and buttermilk and creamcheese frostings. I never thought to just make a sandwich with them. I always feel that I must bake cupcakes, but not anymore! You have opened up a whole new 50 pounds to me! ;o) Oh and a little sinful favorite of mine is fried nutella sandwiches. Oh heavenly goodness!

February 29 | Unregistered CommenterEllo

Ooh, brilliant! I especially like the tofu cream cheese, sweet coconut and pear sandwich. I do that sometimes too! Except it's whipped cream cheese from Einstein's bagels, maple ham, and either slices of apples or strawberries. I'll have to try your way sometime soon!

February 29 | Unregistered Commenterkimbab.sarang
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