Everytime I go to Panera Bread or those high street bakery cum cafes, my eyes are always fixed on the fresh bread loaves and sandwiches that are piled high and displayed behind the counters. Sometimes I day dream on owning a small bakery with a few tables for people to enjoy their bite of sandwiches or cakes with coffee or tea. But it is always easier said than done and running a place and making bread on a daily basis, even how small scale the business is requires too much time and effort, both of which I currently have little of.
Sandwiches are a delight to eat, especially on a warm spring day. I am still used to the usual 2 square slices put together with savory fillings and cut diagonally into triangles types of sandwiches that I lived on during my student years in England. American sandwiches are usually served on a sub-shaped roll or artisan breads, which are usually crusty and chewy in texture and served in bigger cuts. Unless I have been starved for a whole day, I always manage to bring home left over half of any sandwich that I ordered at the cafe here.
This cheese loaf is very easy to make and with no eggs and sugar added, the texture is more dense and leaves little room for failure! As Easter potluck lunch was on my mind throughout the week, I just grabbed the few simple ingredients and baked this bread today and made up some sandwiches from it for the kids lunch. Missy E was so happy to hear that I was serving sandwiches instead of her usual soup noodle and fried rice and I was amazed by her appetite when I saw her munching such a big size of sandwich! Truly American in nature I would say!
I added grated Monterey Jack cheese into the bread dough and roughly folded and twisted the dough to fit it into the bread pan for the final resting and rising prior to the baking. I sprinkled some sesame seeds onto the bread dough and baked it for 45 mins. The texture of this bread is like ciabatta and as it might be a little too chewy for the kids, I served it with cream of mushroom soup so they can dip the bread to soften it before eating.
Cheese Loaf (makes 1 bread loaf)
3 cups flour
1 tsp yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Tuna Corn Filling (yields 2 serving, can be increased) :
1 can tuna
2 tbsp sweet corn kernel
1-1/2 tbsp mayo
pinch of salt & black pepper
1)Sift the flour and salt.
2)Sprinkle and stir the yeast into the warm milk and let stand for 10 mins.
3)Add the melted butter into the milk mixture and stir to blend.
4)Pour the milk mixture into the flour and using the mixer to blend. The dough will be heavy and slightly wet in the hands. Add water by 1 tbsp at a time if the dough is dry.
5)Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 mins. Let rest in the bowl for 2 hours till it doubles its volume.
6)Punch down the dough and take out and roll out roughly into a into a rectangle shape.
7)Sprinkle the cheese all over. From the edges nearest to you, fold into 3 parts, enclosing the cheese. Place into a greased bread pan and let rest till it rises to the rim of the pan.
8)Sprinkle with sesame seeds and preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 15 mins and lower the heat to 375F and continue to bake for another 20 mins till the top is slightly brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
9)Slice to desired size. May be served toasted.
Yields : 1 loaf
1)Drain the water from the tuna. Mash with fork. Season with salt & pepper.
2)Mix in the mayo.
3)Mix in the sweet corn kernels. Layer between the bread with salad leaves.
Serves : 2 persons