1. Kaiser rolls, rye bread, and Italian rolls are Chef Tommy’s staple breads for making sandwiches. They are sturdy, flavorful, and versatile. 00:46
2. When using white bread for sandwiches, select a thick cut variety. Many basic commercial versions tend to be thin and flimsy, and fall apart with too many ingredients. 01:48
3. Bánh mì sandwiches are traditionally made on Vietnamese French rolls. The roll should have a thin, crispy crust and a soft, airy center. A classic French roll is similar to an Italian roll in its pliable heartiness, but has a different flavor. Chef Tommy recommends using these rolls for pressed sandwiches. 02:24
4. Chef Tommy advises against using hard baguettes and bagels as bread for sandwiches. Baguettes can scrape the top of your mouth and be difficult to eat. Bagels tend to be too thick and chewy. Bread should not get in the way of the sandwich. Ciabatta is a highly versatile option that is not particularly “bready”. 03:35
5. After selecting which kind of bread is best for your sandwich, consider how to treat it before adding other ingredients. Chef Tommy recommends refreshing bread by adding a light coating of clarified butter and crisping the bread on a griddle or in a pan, or briefly toasting the bread in an oven. If using a pan or a griddle, another pan can be used on top of the bread to press it, creating a crispy golden brown crust. 04:33
6. The key points to remember when picking bread are to think about durability, texture, and flavor, and to refresh the bread in a oven, pan, or toaster. 06:41
What You'll Need
- Classic Kaiser or hard roll
- Rye bread
- Italian roll
- White bread
- Vietnamese French roll
- Classic French roll
- Clarified butter for toasting (optional)
Chef Tommy mentions that this tutorial only covers a few breads of the many available. Other common sandwich breads include brioche, focaccia, whole grain, and sourdough.
Remember that the textures of the ingredients and the bread should compliment each other. Saucy sandwiches require a roll with a hearty crust so they won’t fall apart. Simple sandwiches that have fillings with light flavors are best served on thinly sliced bread. Sturdy fillings like salami can handle crunchier breads, whereas sandwiches with soft fillings will be overpowered by heavy bread and should be paired with softer rolls instead.
The Kaiser roll, sometimes also called a hard roll, is a crusty, round roll that originated in Austria. Kaiser rolls have been around in some form since the 1700s and were named for Emperor of Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria in the 1800s. The curved cuts in the top of the roll are meant to look like a crown.
A bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich that came about as a result of French colonialism in Vietnam. These sandwiches combine traditional French ingredients like baguettes, pâté, and mayonnaise with traditional Vietnamese ingredients like cilantro, cucumber, jalapeño, and pickled vegetables.
To learn about picking the right cheese to go with your sandwich, visit Chef Tommy's "An Overview of Cheeses for Sandwiches" tutorial located at the bottom of the page.
Clarified butter is butter that has had the milk fat removed. Clarified butter is made by heating butter until the milk fat burns, then separating the butterfat from the burnt particles. Clarified butter has a subtle nutty flavor and a higher smoke point than regular butter. To learn more about this ingredient, visit Chef Jason Fullilove's "How to Make Clarified Butter" tutorial located on the page below.