Italian Sandwich Bread For Tramezzini
The world is full of delicious sandwiches, filled with local specialities such as cheese or cured meat or fish, even a simple omelette or hard boiled egg, and sometimes a tuft of arugula or leaf of basil. The breads are all delicious whether thick slabs of rustic breads, bread rolls, or squares of focaccia.
Then there are tramezzini: delicate sandwiches said to have originated in Venice, based on this fragrant, soft, tender-crumbed bread. Sliced thin, crusts cut off, sliced into triangle halves, tramezzini are the most elegant of Italian sandwiches. They are perfect for picnics: filled with chicken salad mixed with homemade mayonnaise (why not make a Coronation chicken filling, with curry spices and dried fruit?). Tuna with olives; sliced cucumbers, cream cheese and fresh herbs? Or a Bombay Sandwich: the buttered slices spread with chutney and filled with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot, raw onions, and/or potatoes.
4 loaves - 25 cm rectangular loaf tin
24 - 48 hours
150 ml water – room temperature
1 packet of brewer’s yeast
50 g honey
4 medium-sized eggs, room temperature
200 g melted butter, chilled
500 g Italian type 0 flour
10 g salt
Put a little water in a bowl and dissolve the brewer’s yeast. Stir very well. Put the honey into the rest of the water and mix well until it dissolves in the water. Crack the eggs and place in a bowl, add the water with the honey and start to mix, then add the chilled melted butter and keep mixing, adding slowly the water with the dissolved yeast and the sieved flour. Keep mixing and once the mixture is combined, add the salt and continue to mix. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise for 2 hours and then put the mixture in the refrigerator and leave to rise for another 24 hours. Then remove from the refrigerator, leave it to rest for about 60 minutes to let it warm a little and reactivate the rising. Then divide into 4 portions.
Take one of the portions and stretch it with your hands into a rectangular shape, and make a letter fold by folding first the right third to the centre, then the left third to the centre. Then take the top third and fold to the centre and the bottom third to the centre. Stretch with your hands again to form a rectangular shape and repeat the folds as above. Then roll with a rolling pin to a rectangular shape slightly smaller than the loaf tin, roll it on itself and place in the loaf tin. Repeat the process for the other three portions. Leave them all to rise for a couple of hours, lightly covered. Then bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 35 minutes – they can all be baked together.
When you remove the loaves from the oven, brush with a little water at room temperature and let them cool. The water will help to make the typical soft crust of this tasty sandwich loaf.