Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sandwich Loaf

The Sandwich Loaf: I’d ordered a loaf of Pullman Bread from HyVee. It was $5.99, and they made it on Saturday (because of the holiday). I put it in the freezer.

I spent three hours Monday afternoon making the three fillings:   ham salad, egg salad, and olive/cheese filling.

#1:  The traditional ham salad is, of course, made out of bologna. I used my food processor to chop the bologna, and added mayo and sweet pickles. 

#2:  For the egg salad, I used my Mom’s homemade mayonnaise.  It's a lot like the boiled bacon dressing the Pennsylvania Dutch made famous.  Very sweet/tart.

#3:  For the olive/cheese spread,  I used the recipe from Pioneer Woman, and it was PERFECT.   Here's the link to her recipe, which is excellent hot -- but also delicious as a cold spread.

For the “frosting” I put three bricks of cream cheese in my big stand mixer, and fluffed them up with some ranch dressing. It made a nice spreadable frosting.

Monday night, at about 10:00, I was ready to assemble my Sandwich Loaf. The bread was partially frozen when I cut off the crusts…and I think that helped to make the three horizontal cuts…altho it was nerve-wracking, and I was sorry I hadn’t bought an extra loaf, because if I messed it up, I had no Plan B…(and it had been heavily advertised as a menu-item.)  I have since learned that it would have been much easier if I'd used an electric knife.  (thanks, Nancy)...

I buttered each slice of bread (so the filling didn’t soak in and make the whole thing soggy)…and, one layer at a time, built the giant horizontal sandwich loaf tower. Mine went: Bread, olive/cheese spread, bread, ham salad, bread, egg salad, bread. Then, I frosted the whole shebang with the cream cheese frosting. It was hard to get the frosting to stick to the filling layers, so I decided to consider this my “skim coat”.

I put it in the frig to set up overnight -- and the next morning, I gave it a second finished layer of frosting and decorated it. OMG…IT WAS STUNNING. Absolutely stunning.

There’s a good chance it was the prettiest thing I have ever made. I know for sure it was the most time-consuming. AND it used up the most kitchen utensils, appliances, pans, dishes, etc. Every square inch of my previously-spotless-kitchen (Thank you, Carrie) was covered with things-that-needed-to-be-washed. AGAIN.
Here it is. The finished sandwich's a work of art, right?
Honestly -- when I sliced this thing, I was THRILLED to see the ribbons of filling inside.
In the interest of full disclosure -- I was exhausted...and I ran out of steam and little tiny slices of, there WAS a backside to my Sandwich Loaf. (undecorated!)
On Monday night, when Ross got home from his second shift at the hospital, I was in the middle of assembling this whole thing. I explained how these things were popular in the 50's,  now only live on in the Iron Range.  I thought he was impressed with all the time and effort I'd put into it...but then, he said, "So, sandwich loaves are a lot like crocodiles."

I said, "huh?"

He replied, "crocodiles should have died out with dinosaurs, but nobody knows why that didn't happen."

Yep.  That's right.  Near as I can tell, Sandwich Loaf went extinct in the early 60' only lives on in the Iron Range of Minnesota.  Where, Nancy assures me, it is still available as a lunch special at several restaurants.  And I know for a fact that you can buy it in local grocery stores... 


  1. Yup, Ross nailed it! I had a great time the other day telling my cousin about your story and we reminisced about all the showers, etc. we had it as our main attraction on the food table!

  2. So pretty and sounds yummy! My Grandma made ham salad (she called it ham sandwich spread) for us almost every time we visited when I was a kid. She had an old-fashioned meat grinder and used whole, unsliced bologna. It was so good! She was originally from Lacrosse, WI. Most of my dad's family lived in the Midwest.

  3. So tasty and decorative looking. I would have loved a slice. I was around in the 50's and have never heard of this delicacy but then I don't and never have live in America.