tea time sandwiches

It's very easy to make fancy finger sandwiches and pinwheel sandwiches for special events. Heck, it's so easy to make them, you can just do it for everyday fun. Peanut butter and jelly pinwheel, anyone?

The only thing that might be a little tricky is finding the right bread. Saucy goes to the bakery counter at the grocery store and asks them to set aside a long white sandwich loaf, cut lengthwise. She learned that trick when she used to work there. It's only a problem because you have to plan ahead. Long sandwich loaves aren't made every day and when they are, they're cut into regular pieces to be turned into dreadful white bread grilled cheese sandwiches.

The only thing a long white sandwich loaf is good for in Saucy's eyes is to turn it into pinwheels. She makes ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, cucumber and PB & J too. Don't try tuna... it's just too soggy for words. Salmon works if it's well-drained and doesn't have too much dressing in it.

Anyway, plan a few days ahead and pay a visit to the store. Ask the clerk to push a loaf or two through the slicer lengthwise and set them aside for you. It shouldn't cost you a penny more than a regularly sliced loaf.

At home, use a serrated knife to trim the crusted edges off all four sides of each slice of bread. Put the scraps plus the two end pieces to aside for bread crumbs to use on chicken and in meat loaf. Waste not, want not.

Use a rolling pin to slightly flatten the piece of bread. You're doing this because it will roll up a little easier and tighter... a fluffy fat piece of bread will want to break while rolling and is sometimes a little too light to hold the filling.

Spread your filling evenly across the surface of the bread. If you're serving it to guests, don't forget to add bits of chive and relish to make it more festive when it's sliced!

This is old-school. This is how Granny used to do it.

When tightly rolled, secure the ends together with toothpicks. Place covered in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. This step is key. You won't be able to slice them a lick if they aren't chilled through.

Again, using your serrated blade, gently slice the rolls after you've removed the toothpicks. You shouldn't make them too thick - about a half an inch will do. They should kind of look about the size of a cookie or biscuit. They're bite-sized sandwich bits. You'll have to discard (um, snack on) the end pieces because they're not super tidy.

You can also use "regular" slices of bread if it's all you have on hand... just trim off the crusts and gently stack bread and fillings - you can go crazy and make a double decker sandwich if you like. Wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate thoroughly. When chilled, cut into tiny, slim rectangles. This shape works exceptionally well for long thin slices of cucumber that have been peeled and sliced on a mandolin (or very carefully with your kitchen knife).

Oh, and cucumber sandwiches are best prepared just with butter and a tiny bit of salt. Nix the mustard and the mayo. Cucumber sandwiches are supposed to taste delicate.

This is how Loopy ate her sandwiches when she was a tiny wee thing in her high chair - just finger sandwiches in her tiny little hands.

Fancy, fancy. Cute.


karen said...

yum - my mom made these for our birthday parties - she put gherkins in the centre with ham or egg salad wrapped around, maraschino cherries with cream cheese or cheez whiz wrapped around (my fav) and banana with peanut butter wrapped around. When the slices were cut they had the nicest looking centres. She wrapped them up in plastic wrap before putting them in the fridge - wow trip down memory lane - your sandwiches look super yummy and beautiful


Another great tutorial. Thank you! A woman from my church, years ago, used to use that same type of bread cut lengthwise. She would cut it in fourths lengthwise, spread each layer with a different topping and then cover the entire outside with cream cheese and then cut cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle dill. It was really pretty too.

Jenny said...

Tea sandwiches are a staple here in the (American) South, but we always lightly butter the bread. I suppose it helps keep the bread from getting damp. Either way, yum. I can always eat way more of these little ones than I would a regular sized sandwich.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...


cheapdanny coupon codes said...

you make it look so easy to make these little bite-size sandwiches. They look so yummy too.