Baked sandwiches are one of our go-to meals when we’re sick of everything else and nothing sounds good. I’ve done a few different types so far: Philly cheesesteak, ham and cheese, meatball, turkey and bacon, Reuben (here’s a fantastic recipe for that, courtesy of my bestie Rachel: http://www.happyhealthyhomemade.com/2011/03/reuben-sandwich-loaf.html ) and Italian. The possibilities are endless, really!
This time, I did an Italian reprise and it was delicious!!
In the past I’ve used the recipe for quick bread dough found in the link above, and when I’m strapped for time (read: lazy) I’ll thaw a loaf of frozen Rhodes white bread so it’s ready to stuff when I get home from work. That was my plan this time, except I forgot to pull the loaf out of the freezer before work to thaw and rise. And I didn’t have any dinner backups. (I’m sure I could have been all MacGuyver kitchen-style and come up with something, but wasn’t in the mood. At all.) I had everything on hand to make pizza dough so that’s what I did, using my mother-in-law’s recipe.
1 packet yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 c scalded milk
3 tbs shortening
3 tbs sugar (I cut it to 1 1/2; I’m not a fan of sweet crust)
1 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3+ cups flour (I use about 5, but start with three and add as needed)
Dissolve yeast in water for 15 minutes
Scald milk. While it’s still hot, pour over shortening, sugar and salt and mix. Let the mixture cool to luke warm and add beaten egg. Add yeast mixture, lightly combine and add flour. I’ve never worried about making the well in the flour and etc. with this recipe. It’s pretty forgiving. You can let it rise for 30 minutes or use it right away. The difference is really negligible.
Jovi is in the kitchen with me about 90% of the time. She loves pulling a chair up to the counter and helping me; tying her little apron on and getting her hands dirty. For the first half of helping me with the sandwiches she had a tea towel tied around her. It used to fit a little better than it does now. These days it’s getting a little tight around her ribcage. Growing!
Hmm.. maybe I should have tied her hair back a little better! I have to keep myself in check when we’re cooking together. So often I just want to get dinner done fast. I’m rushing all day to meet deadlines; get things prepped, get things filed. Build pages. Sign off pages. We’re always working on time. It’s hard to snap myself out of that mode when I’m at home. I’m so used to go-go-go all day. Switching gears is tough!
I love how focused she gets when she’s “cooking” with me. Even though the stirring didn’t need to be stirred, she took the job seriously and whisked the heck out of the milk, sugar, salt and shortening.
We got the yeast and milk mixture combined and started adding the flour. I added heaps of garlic powder and Italian herbs to the dough mixture.
After the meats were cut up and ready, we rolled the dough onto a greased cookie sheet.
Then, down the middle third of the dough, we layered a little bit of pizza sauce (just for moisture), salami, canadian bacon and turkey pepperoni and topped it all with chunks of pepperjack cheese. I love pepperjack cheese.
You can either wrap the loaf up now and seal it, or you can be all awesome and impress your friends by doing a pretty wrapping trick that’s not really clever enough to be a trick. It’s really just common sense.
Starting at the filling and cutting out, make slices through the dough about 1 inch apart all the way down both sides.
Alternating sides, wrap one side on top of the other. No need to be precise or pretty — it will look awesome regardless of “equality”. Pinch the ends shut. See? Pretty! I brushed the top with olive oil….
Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or so. Slice, and..
Too bad for me I didn’t get to enjoy this big loaf of deliciousness because I am low-carbing it. So I got a salad. It was super om-nom though, so I can’t complain.