The layered sensation. that's cold pressed and baked to achieve that immensely delicious gooey cheesy soft centre.
The layered sensation. that’s cold pressed and baked to achieve that immensely delicious gooey cheesy soft centre.

This sandwich is inspired completed by Facebook and I wouldn’t be wrong if I said this, but even John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich would want to be born again to eat this one! If you remember since September last year, videos have started to come alive on our Facebook newsfeeds. Some of us hated it, others watched it without sound, and some actually lapped up every byte that flowed onto their screens. I was somewhere in between. I initially hated it, then started watching it and saving some too and last night used one of the videos my husband was watching for the first time ever to conceive something similar. And am I pleased!

Warning: This sandwich cannot be eaten without getting crumbs and sauces all over your face and beard if you sport one! And it’s definitely not for a sit-down dinner. It’s one of those messy meals that ends up with a tummy that’s ready to burst at the seams. :) But you will love it. This is also the longest post I’ve ever written.

It's more meat and veggies than bread, so don't worry about the carbs when you eat this one!
It’s more meat and veggies than bread, so don’t worry about the carbs when you eat this one!

Lucky for me, I get the best multi-grain uncut bread loaf a stone’s throw away from my office–at City Bakery in Worli. You need to use a hard bread for this, so try getting your hands on a large brun (if in india) or use a 2-day old burger bun. The harder the exterior the easier it will be to cut through it. Now, you need to scoop out the interiors of the bread, so dry up the interiors in an oven or under the sun and use it for breadcrumbs…please don’t waste food.

Time taken: 2 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes 

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooling time: 1 hour

Serves 4

Skill level: Basic, it’s just layering! 

Equipment Needed: Oven, Skillet and Refrigerator

Ingredients:

  • 1 hard crust uncut bread loaf or 2 burger buns
  • 4 slices of cheese
  • 100 grams of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced thin
  • 2 burger patties of your choice (potato, chicken or any other meat)
  • 6-7 slices of salami (vegetarian’s can use thin slices of cottage cheese or tofu)
  • 100 grams of yellow bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

Scoop the insides out carefully, you don't want to fracture the walls or base
Scoop the insides out carefully, you don’t want to fracture the walls or the base

1. Start by slicing the top of the bread as shown in the picture. Scoop out the inside of the lower half of the bread loaf keeping a cm-thick base and sides on all 4 sides.

2. Keep this bread aside to dry it out.

It's almost like creating an empty box that will be filled in with goodies to gobble up!
It’s almost like creating an empty box that will be filled in with goodies to gobble up!

3. Meanwhile start frying up the ingredients.

  • Cook the burger on a skillet and let it cool.
  • Fry the tomatoes in a bit of olive oil and season it. Let it cool.
  • Fry the onions in olive oil till translucent add barbecue sauce and cook till onions are well done, let it cool.
  • Cook the mushrooms in a little oil, but make sure they are still crisp. season and remove from flame, let it cool.
  • Fry the tofu, cottage cheese or salami in oil and when crisp, remove it from flame and let it cool.

NOTE: IT’s very important that all the ingredients are dry and cold when you start to assemble the sandwich. 

The cheese at the bottom will also prevent any spillages into the base of the bread
The cheese at the bottom will also prevent any spillage into the base of the bread

4. Now comes the fun part, the assembly. Add a layer of cheese at the bottom. But before that place your bread loaf on a large piece of foil. The foil needs to go around the bread and hold it tight so cut out a large piece.

I've added a whole lot of these barbecued onions using my home made sauce
I’ve added a whole lot of these barbecued onions using my home-made sauce

5. Next start piling it up with various layers–I’ve used cheese–barbecued onion–bell pepper–sliced burger patties (you don’t need to slice it if using a burger bun)–mozzarella cheese–tomato–barbecued onion–cheese. Keep pressing the ingredients downwards and compacting them as you build the layers. Use a little pressure not too much, or you will end up bursting the walls of the bread

The centre layer has to be mozzarella cheese as this ends that lovely stringy element to the sandwich
The centre layer has to be mozzarella cheese as this ends that lovely stringy element to the sandwich

6. Seal the bread box with the top crust we cut off at the very beginning.

This sandwich needs to be filled to the brim to achieve that perfect compact pressed sandwich
This sandwich needs to be filled to the brim to achieve that perfect compact pressed sandwich

7. Now start wrapping the foil all around your sandwich really tight. You want to create enough pressure on the foil so it doesn’t give way when we weigh the sandwich down with weight.

Ready for the cold press! The 8-layered sandwich
Ready for the cold press! The 8-layered sandwich

8. Ok now comes the tricky part, you need to place this sandwich in the refrigerator and add a lot of weight on it so it compresses by at least 1/3 its present height. I am too embarrassed to put up the picture of all that I used, but let it suffice to say I used 2 litres of milk, my 3 kg heavy skillet and 1 box of chopped papaya and 2 litres of juice. Yup it needs that much weight. Also you might need to remove a couple of shelves from my refrigerator to stack this up. It’s worth it.

9. 30 minutes later, pre-heat your oven to 200 degree Centigrade.

10. An hour later. Move the cold compressed sandwich to the hot oven and bake it at 200 degree centigrade for 20 minutes.

11. Pull it out of the oven in 25 minutes and slice it through the centre to be amazed at the creation you just built. Serve the sandwich hot with a salad.

That's what the cold pressed sandwich will look like when you cut it into two.
That’s what the cold pressed sandwich will look like when you cut it into two.
A King's Meal: 8-layered cold pressed sandwich
A king’s meal: 8-layered cold pressed sandwich

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