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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Ciabatta Sandwiches

Years ago, I relished running about a block from our house to our local bakery.  I could see the roof of the bakery from my bedroom window!  It was one of my favourite local haunts.  I could always tell when they were baking fresh bread as the aroma filled the air.  At that time, a loaf of fresh baked bread cost 50¢.  The local bakery had the best doughnuts I've ever tasted.  They also made a limited variety of buns, mainly dinner rolls and crusty rolls.

ciabatta buns
The beloved bakery of my childhood is no more, having ceased the bakery portion of operations several years ago.  I still love fresh baked breads, most of them homemade.  Our local No Frills brings in fresh made breads (preservative free) from a bakery the next town over.  Their breads are very good, made much the same as I do at home with fresh ingredients and no preservatives, artificial colours or flavourings and no HFCS.

Ciabatta bread (slipper bread) is an Italian yeast bread traditionally formed into elongated, broad, flat loaves.  This bakery makes ciabatta bread but shaped into triangular buns, perfect for sandwiches.

meat and cheese for ciabatta buns
The kids were down for a visit so I used ciabatta buns for make-your-own sandwiches for lunch.  Make-your-own sandwiches always go over well.  I borrowed the idea from various luncheons we have attended.  Instead of actually making the sandwiches then serving, the components are set out on serving trays along with condiments for each person to assemble their sandwich as they choose.  This presentation was quite popular with out kids and continues to be popular with our grandkids as well as guests.

I filled one serving tray with ciabatta buns (above).  Another tray held rolled cooked turkey breast slices, Swiss and cheddar cheeses.  Any lunch meat or cheese slices would have worked.  The meat and cheese tray can be made as simple or as elabourate as desired but I usually keep it simple.

toppings for ciabatta buns
The topping tray can vary as well.  I usually add lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Red or green leaf lettuce adds just the perfect crunch and flavour.  Romain lettuce works nicely too as do other salad greens.  I normally don't  use iceberg lettuce as it doesn't have much flavour.  I also like using red onions as they add a bit of colour along with flavour.  There are so many varieties of slicing tomatoes that add not only colour but also flavour.   I prefer the heirloom slicing tomato varieties but there are a few good hybrids as well.

Not pictured are the additional condiments like mayonnaise, mustard, and horseradish.  Fresh alfalfa sprouts, mustard greens and pickles are also a nice addition but really anything goes.  A separate pickle or vegetable tray works nicely to complete the meal. 
The ciabatta buns make rather large sandwiches, larger than a good sized burger.  It is a rather filling sandwich but lower in fat and calories.  The assembled ciabatta bun sandwiches were delightfully delicious served with fresh baby cucumber pieces and Best Bread & Butter Pickles

Little Miss A, our second grandkid really enjoyed creating her own ciabatta sandwich.  Even cut in half, it was still triangular shape like the adults.  Part of the fun for kids is letting them make their own choices as to what they want to put on their sandwiches.  The make-your-own sandwich presentation is very kid friendly!  Simply put healthy choices on the serving platters then let them make their own creations.  It's a fun way to get your kids to eat healthy with very little effort.

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Hubby's childhood bakery closed last year when Hostess filed bankruptcy. There was nothing better than the smell of fresh bread as we drove in town.
They used to sell little nickle loaves, just enough for a quick snack, when he was growing up.

Good memories.