Making a sandwich sounds simple enough, yet it is something that gives many pause. Creating the perfect tea sandwich with the perfect edges and tasty filling can be intimidating. How much is too much filling? How can I get that razor sharp edge? How do I keep the sandwich from getting soggy? I’ve searched online for helpful tips and here are a few responses to commonly asked questions. I’m also linking this YouTube video The Ultimate Afternoon Tea Sandwiches – Recipe Tutorial with Will Torrent. I found his technical tips easy to follow and helpful.
Q What type of bread should I use?
A Use a good quality fresh loaf bread. Make sure the bread retains its shape as you’ll need uniform slices. You can’t stretch a slice out once it’s lost its shape.
Q How many sandwiches per person?
A Considering how small the thin sandwiches are, estimate 3-4 sandwiches per person and make 2-4 different kinds. The most traditional sandwiches are chicken, cucumber, egg, salmon and watercress, but you are not limited to this selection.
Q When should I assemble the sandwiches?
A Sandwiches should be fresh. It’s best to assemble two hours prior to your event and cut the crusts off – triangles, rectangles or squares (preferred shape of the Royals). Cover with a clean tea towel, plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove twenty minutes prior to your party to remove the chill and plate.
Q How do I keep the bread from turning soggy?
A Both bread slices should be buttered, regardless of filling. Have unsalted butter at room temperature and spread a thin protective layer of butter on the bread from edge to edge. The butter will serve as a barrier and help keep the bread from getting soggy. Following the video above, by separately whipping the butter and the cream cheese, they will be easier to spread on the bread without breaking.
Q How do I cut the crusts off without breaking or crimping the bread?
A A good sharp knife and some patience is key! You don’t want to rush through and crimp the edges. Some people prefer a serrated while others a straight edge. No matter which one you use, wipe the knife clean after each cut so you don’t rub any filling off on subsequent cuts. Apply even pressure to the knife when cutting the crusts off while using the opposite hand to gently hold the sandwich in place.
Q How much filling is too much?
A The filling should be thin if using loaf bread. If using a Croissant, it can be a thicker layer, but not thicker than the bread slice itself.
Whatever you do, allow yourself plenty of time to execute your menu without the stress and pressure of entertaining.
Photo credit: Pixabay