My choice of bread to make this sandwich is my go-to plain sourdough bread with 20% whole wheat from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. I am fond of this bread, for no other rational reasons, other than the fact that it was the first sourdough bread I had mastered when I started learning how to bake bread.
It was quite a while ago — three years, give and take. The taste and texture of this bread got me hooked. Not before long, I was committed to setting up the whole home bread-making process and operation. Ingredients for making bread are few and straightforward, but you do need a hot oven and some special equipment. Feeding the starter and baking my own bread has since become the ritual and rhythm in my kitchen. It’s a game changer. There is no going back to the store-bought varieties. When we run out of bread, reach for the flour!
One thing for sure: David Lebovitz’s recipe of fried ham and cheese sandwich is elevating a crusty sourdough loaf into a satisfying hearty meal. I need to find more recipes like this. Instead of ham, I used a few thinly sliced Prosciutto. Between the bèchamel and the gooey Comté, this sandwich is a real treat — with a French twist.
I found it easy to fry the sandwich on a stove-top cast-iron grill pan. I bypassed the broiler step in favor of a more streamlined process. (Really, do I want to pile on more cheese in one sandwich? My arteries said no.) A heavy Dutch oven pan, which I have a collection of, was called into service as a sandwich press. I’m big on certain gadgets, Dutch oven being one of them. Finding multiple uses of the pots and pans I have on hand thrills me. These workhorses never fail to get the job done: fast, even and beautifully. I should start naming them, like the living, breathing pets.
You won’t see me buying bread. You won’t see me outsourcing sandwich-making. But you would see me flipping and serving these “gotta have it” sandwiches, pots and pans in hand, over an open fire in the kitchen. All smiles!
To see how other bloggers at cookthebookfridays have approached this recipe, click here. Surprised how many of them have made their own bread for this sandwich as well.