Friday, 26 August 2011

Reuben-ish Sandwich on Rye-ish Bread

"There is an art to the business of making sandwiches which it is given to few ever to find the time to explore in depth. It is a simple task, but the opportunities for satisfaction are many and profound."
— Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide)

You have to have just the right balance between delicious chaotic messiness and pick-up-and-eat-with-your-hands-orderliness.

This is a delicious take on the popular Reuben sandwich, made on a homemade rye-wheat bread. I love the layers and the melty goodness and the bread has just the right tang.  

And of course the third slice of bread in the middle technically makes this a club sandwich (and I'm not even a member!)

Check out Mitch Hedberg's bit about the club sandwich. Dude cracks me up. (some swearing)

My son will be proud I included Mitch. He's one of his favourite comedians. 

Back to the Reuben-ish sandwich. Sure, if you make it from scratch, including baking the bread, it will take a few days - but it's totally worth it. ☺

Don't forget the frilly toothpicks!

Reuben-ish Sandwich

The origin of the Reuben sandwich is hotly disputed, but many New Yorkers say it began in Reuben’s Deli on East 58th Street. A classic Reuben sandwich should have Thousand Island dressing, but this is my version. Try it with nice smoked ham if you can’t find pastrami.


• 3 big 1cm slices of rye bread
• mayonnaise
• 4 heaped tablespoons sauerkraut
• 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
• 4–5 slices of pastrami
a few gherkins, sliced
• 100g Swiss cheese
• a handful of watercress leaves, to serve


Grill the slices of bread on a griddle pan until lightly toasted on both sides then spread one side of each with mayonnaise. Put some of the sauerkraut and some of the chilli on 2 of the slices, and top with a couple of slices of pastrami. Top with the remaining sauerkraut and chilli and the sliced gherkins, then grate the Swiss cheese over the top.

Preheat a hot grill. Place the slices with toppings under the grill until the cheese is melted and dribbling.

Stack the sandwich together, adding a few watercress leaves and finishing with the final slice of toast. Press down lightly and use wooden skewers to hold together. Tuck in!

Rye-Wheat Bread
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread
for the Mellow Bakers

The night before:
Whole-rye flour - 8 oz
Water - 6.6 oz
Mature sourdough starter - 0.6 oz

Combine in a small/med bowl and let sit, covered, overnight. 12-16 hours.

The next day:
Bread flour - 1 lb
Whole wheat flour - 8 oz
Water - 15 oz
Salt - 1 Tbsp
Instant dry yeast - 1 tsp
Sourdough from last night - all

Mix all the ingredients together in your stand mixer for three minutes on low. (Dough hook)
Scrape down and mix 3 more minutes on medium speed, adjusting if necessary.
Finish kneading on lightly floured board until you have a nice, smoothish dough.
Lightly oil a bowl and turn dough ball around in it to lightly coat.
Cover and let rest 1 - 1½ hours, until nicely risen.
Divide into two equal pieces. Shape each into a ball.
Let rest as you prepare two brotforms with flour and coarse rye.
Shape into loaves and place seam-side up in the brotforms. (Bowls or baskets lined with tea towels will also work)
Cover and let rise 1 - 1½ hours.
Preheat oven, with stone, to 460°F.
Flip loaves onto stone and bake at 460° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 440° and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes.
Let cool on racks.

This bread has been Yeastspotted!