I love sandwiches, and if I do say so myself, make some pretty good combinations. Take today for example. My son came home for lunch looking for something to eat. I offered a sandwich: A fresh Hallah role with olive oil mayonnaise, two slices of prosciutto, Swiss cheese, fresh avocado, and tomato. For myself I made: A fresh Hallah roll with artisanal ash-covered goat cheese, and rapini sauteed in fresh young garlic and olive oil. Delicious.
One thing both these sandwiches had in common was an outstanding balance between the consistency of the bread and the contents. I’ve found this factor to be the key “secret” to making great sandwiches. For example, if you take a crusty, chewy baguette, and fill it with something very soft, say egg salad or grilled vegetables, you will notice that the jaw pressure needed to bite through the bread is too much for the soft filling, which will inevitable be squished out the sides. Similarly, if you take a soft Hallah roll and fill it with steak, the hand and jaw pressure needed to get through the meat will make the bread a soggy mess. Not to mention the fact that juicy condiments tend to turn a soft roll into slush.
Most successful sandwiches will have a nice balance between the two textures of bun and filling. Take the iconic hot-dog or hamburger for example. In both cases, the bun is just soft enough to get through without needing much additional jaw pressure to pierce the meat. French baguette and Brie….wonderful. Sliced white bread and cheddar in a grilled-cheese…beautiful. An onion roll and grilled vegetables…superb.
Think about this next time you make a sandwich. Try to balance the texture of the bread with the demands of the filling…it will make a much more satisfying sandwich.