A Sandwich Celebration
Whether you call it a sarnie or a buttie, use baguettes or a thick white sliced; the good old sandwich remains an iconic culinary invention. In Britain, we buy over 3.5 billion sandwiches a year. And with British Sandwich Week (20-26 May) celebrating our love for this blooming good eat in or to-go meal, sandwiches are a must-have for your menu. Take Stock talked to Claire Howells, the co-owner of Blanchflower bakery and restaurant in Altrincham to obtain some top sandwich tips!
The best bread
The secret to a good sandwich is great bread as it makes up at least 60% of it. There has been a big trend over the last few years towards handmade bread so we make sourdough, focaccia, ciabatta and baguettes. A twist on this trend is using half sourdough along with a little yeast so you get great flavour into rolls, baguettes and ciabatta. This really expands our offering while still using traditional levains with all the benefits they bring.
Make it stand out
Elements of craft production make all the difference to a sandwich. Making chutneys for instance is not hard, they keep well and using small amounts adds lots of flavour. The homemade touch is always appreciated by customers. Pickling is a cheap way of adding variation and texture – use similar amounts of sugar, water and cider vinegar and warm them in a pan until the sugar dissolves before adding chopped veg – thin strips of carrots are especially good. Adding nuts and seeds is also effective – I suggest tossing them in a little salt and honey and roasting them in the oven for 5-10 mins for extra crunch.
• Goat’s cheese, seasonal chutney, toasted honeyed walnuts and leaves.
• Chicken dressed in pesto mayo – try using toasted almonds instead of pine nuts in the pesto because they are cheaper and just as tasty.
• Toasted cheese and caramelised onions – combine normal cheddar with a premium unpasteurised cheese (even another cheddar like Keen’s) to make this more special. Serve on good sourdough.
• Roasted squash with marinated tofu and toasted pumpkin seeds is the perfect tasty vegan sandwich.