Have you heard about the food additive that’s been in the news lately, azodicarbonamide (ADA)? It’s a foaming agent used by companies including Subway, Nature’s Own, Sarah Lee, Pilsbury, and Hostess in their bread products to make the dough more elastic and spongy. It’s also used to make foam, like that found in yoga mats, and has been linked to a number of problems ranging from skin and respiratory problems to cancer.
My family stopped eating store-bought bread some time ago, with the exception of the odd loaf here or there, partially because of how hard it was to find bread everyone in our family could eat, and partially because of the price when we did. Add to that the fact that we can easily go through a loaf of bread a day, and making our own bread is really the best option. And while we all prefer homemade bread’s taste, it just doesn’t make that great of sandwiches. The slices are too thick, too dense, too crumbly… So, we stopped eating sandwiches. I would sometimes throw a piece of cheese on a slice of homemade bread and put it in the toaster oven for “cheesy toast”, or spread peanut butter and jelly on one piece for an open-faced sandwich, but that was as close to sandwiches as we’d get. And then, in a stroke of genius (or maybe just because we really needed groceries and I was somewhat desperate to come up with something for dinner), I had a Thought: What if I make a giant bread roll with all the sandwich stuff in the middle?
I have a bread machine I found at a yard sale years ago, and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. I put the ingredients for white bread in my bread machine, and set it for the “dough” cycle. When it beeped an hour and a half later, I took it out and rolled it into a big rectangle about 1/4” thick. Then, I spread some tuna salad inside, sprinkled on some cheese (leaving part of it un-cheesed for those in the family who can’t have dairy), and rolled it up like I was making cinnamon rolls. I carefully transferred it to a baking sheet, and put it in the oven for half an hour. After it came out, I sliced it and served it. What did everyone think? I was asked to make another one the next day. And the next. And the next. For about a week straight. We started getting creative with what we put in it. Tuna and cheese, sloppy joe, barbecue sauce with shredded chicken and sliced onion, even a peanut butter and jelly one. The possibilities are endless! I try to stick to a protein-sauce-extra combination, the “extra” being something like cheese or sliced onion or spinach, but it could be anything, really.
If you have a bread machine, that makes these really easy, but you can also make the bread dough by hand, or even use store-bought dough. I use a 2-pound bread loaf recipe, which feeds our family of six.
Put in bread machine:
1 1/3 c water
4t butter or oil
2 t salt
2 t sugar
3 ¾ c flour
2 t yeast (or one packet)
Set for dough cycle. When machine beeps at end of cycle, take the dough out and roll into a large rectangle about ¼-inch thick, using more flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking.
Spread on your “innards”: sauce, meat, veggies, cheese, etc. This one here, I was only going to use ham, but decided at the last minute to add some thinly sliced onion. Roll up from one end. Put on baking sheet with seam down. Tuck edges under. Optionally, rub top with butter and sprinkle on some herbs or parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.
Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy! These are a favorite lunch at our house. What do you like having for lunch?