“A sammich is not just a sandwich, it is not just a meal. Sammich is a term reserved for only the holiest and mightiest of all sandwiches. A sammich is a true work of culinary art; a feast on a bun, if you will.” – Urban Dictionary
Twenty plus years ago, before Al Gore gave us the interwebz, when my Littles were still, well, little, the two best places to find new recipes were in cookbooks at the library or on food packages. Now I could find hundreds to try in the same 60 minutes it took me to find one or two at the library while the Littles enjoyed Story Hour and I enjoyed the quiet in my own head. This isn’t one of those, though, I remember that I found the root of what would become the “Mighty Sammich Loaf” on the back of a package of frozen bread dough.
The thing I adore about this recipe, especially now that I’m cooking for just two, is that it’s a sure fire way to use up good cuts of leftover meats. In this case, it’s the next to last of the Christmas ham, and oh what an awesome hunk of pure porcine pleasure was that hunney of a baked ham! (Wink! Wink!)
To make this “Mighty Sammich Loaf” you will need:
- One loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed
- 1/4 cup honey mustard salad dressing
- 8-10 oz ham, chopped
- 4 oz. baby swiss cheese
- One egg, lightly beaten
- 1 T. heavy cream or half and half (optional)
- 1 T. sesame seeds
The great thing about using frozen bread dough is that you can take the loaf out of the freezer in the morning. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap, spray it with non-stick cooking spray, wrap it up, stick it in the fridge and it’s perfectly thawed without having risen any by the time that you get home from work!
You will need a parchment lined baking sheet and a rolling pin and some dusting flour. Roll the thawed dough out to a 14″ x 10″ rectangle. If you just start rolling the dough length-wise, it will widen perfectly on it’s own. Stretch corners to maintain the rectangle as best you can.
Transfer the rectangle to the baking sheet and layer the meat, dressing and cheese down the middle. Using a sharp knife, make 7-8 diagonal slits in the dough from the edge of the filling to the edge of dough. I fold my ends in a bit to prevent seepage of the filling during baking, but you can cut it off and just seal the ends well. I love bread, so I always save the extra thick end pieces for myself!
Beat the egg with the whipping cream or half and half, adding the cream isn’t necessary, but I like the extra sealing power. Brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg and starting at one end, pull the dough strips up and over (don’t be afraid to tug on them) and tuck them under the loaf. Weave the strips to create a pretty bread and then brush the whole loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle on the sesame seeds.
Pre-heat the oven to 400° while you let the loaf rise about 15 minutes over a hot water pan, OR, because I hate leaving out my besties, lazy and easy, I fill one side of my double sink with hot water and lay the baking sheet over it for an easy-steam.
Pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes and bake until golden. Let it rest about 5 minutes before cutting. You can cut it in 1″ strips for appetizers or big hunks for dinner. It warms up well the next day if you happen to have even one single piece leftover for lunch.
You can use any combination of meat, dressings and cheeses to create whatever type of loaf you’re craving. Leftover Sunday roast? Saute some onions and peppers, and use ranch dressing and Monterrey Jack cheese for a Philly Loaf. Corned beef plus well drained kraut and 1000 Island and it’s an incredible Reuben Loaf. Very versatile and no one needs to know it’s the last of the leftovers except you!