Friday, March 8, 2013

flashback friday - balogna and colby cheese sandwich on homemade classic white bread

Since beginning the blog, I've found I have a ton of food-related memories that constantly roll around in my head wanting a place to tell their story.  And when I think of certain meals, I can't separate from the experiences I had alongside them in years past.  They're all treasures, so I thought I'd start sharing them here and there.

I mentioned to John the other night that I was kicking around the idea.  I even told him my first post was going to be this one, "Balogna and Colby Cheese Sandwich."  He looked at me as sincerely as ever and said, "You're going to tell someone how to make a balogna and colby cheese sandwich?"  I emphatically answered, "Yes!," like it made absolutely perfect sense to me and should to him.

But that's because I don't like to be questioned.

And because I really thought about his query (after I calmed down a bit), I, too, had to wonder if it would be kind of silly.  So, I decided to actually add a "real" recipe with it, and hence, you are also getting a fantastic, traditional, white sandwich bread recipe.  

Think of it as a bonus.

I've mentioned before how my grandparents lived in a duplex with us for 13 years.  I probably hung out more time upstairs with them than I did in our place.  Summer nights, Popie and I would spend many evenings out on their screened porch listening to the Cardinals play and eating these sandwiches.  Chips and a couple of pickles would round out the meal nicely.  I do remember every once in a while, Popie would go down the Braunschweiger road, but I probably don't have to tell you that I stuck with the balogna.

I love this sandwich.  Not because of what's on it, but because of who I ate it with for so many years.  Because eating it immediately takes me back to those sometimes cool and sometimes balmy nights that would envelop me as I'd try to picture what Ozzie Smith was thinking and feeling at that very moment, hundreds of miles away, in Busch Stadium surrounded by roaring fans.  I can still hear the static of the old radio melding with the voice of the Cardinals calling the play-by-play.  I always got to stay with Popie and listen to the game as long as I wanted, and by the time it was over, the stars lining the sky in our backyard were many.  

Can't you see why I love this sandwich?

The absolute key to this recipe is a nice, thick layer of Helman's mayonnaise.  And a soft, basic, white bread isn't bad either.  Seriously.  This bread recipe is fab. u. lous.  But back then, so was a good loaf of Colonial.

I'm excited about this series of posts.  It's going to be a fun way to document some of my favorite foods because of some of my favorite memories.  What a fun journey!  Glad you're on it with me.    
Happy (Flashback) Friday!

Balogna and Colby Cheese Sandwich on Homemade Classic White Bread - bread makes one loaf

For the bread
  • 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water*
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk granules
  • *Use the lesser amount in summer or humid climates; the greater amount in winter or drier climates.
~ Mix all of the ingredients in the order listed, and mix and knead — by hand, or using a  
   stand mixer — to make a smooth dough. It won't be particularly soft nor stiff; it should be 
   smooth and feel bouncy and elastic under your hands.
~ Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, or large (8-cup) measuring cup. Cover it, and 
    let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's become quite puffy, though not necessarily 
    doubled in size (remember the "not necessarily doubled" part; I thought there was 
    something wrong with my yeast, at first).
~ Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a fat 9" log. Place it in a lightly greased 9" x 5" 
    loaf pan.
~ Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's crowned 1" to 1 1/2" 
    over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
~ Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an 
    additional 15 to 20 minutes, till it's golden brown. An instant-read thermometer inserted 
    into the center will read 195°F to 200°F.
~ Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. When completely
    cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature.

For the sandwich
  • 4 pieces white sandwich bread
  • 2 tbsp. Helman's mayonnaise
  • 2 slices balogna (or more if you're Popie)
  • 2 thick slices Colby cheese
~ Divide mayonnaise between two pieces of bread.
~ Layer balogna and cheese on mayo.
~ Top with remaining bread slices.  
~ Serve with chips, pickles, and a bubbling cold Coke.

Bread recipe from King Arthur