The Burts Guide to Bread
For Your Ultimate Crisp Sandwich
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that sandwiches of all shapes and sizes will always be improved by the introduction of some fine chips. In terms of adding extra texture and another dimension of flavour, crisp sandwiches rule basically. And here at Burts, we have long been advocates of combining crunchy potato with sliced meats and fragrant cheese. Along with butter, mayonnaise, pickles, salad, grilled vegetables, pate, spreads, dips, leftovers and anything else you think of. We have even created guides, to provide inspiration and the Burts Spicy Chorizo and Chicken Sandwich is unparalleled. Nothing else comes close in our humble opinion. Although that said, crushed avocado and sweet chilli quesadillas made with Burts Thai Sweet Chilli Chips are very good too. And you can’t beat a Peppercorn Steak Baguette.
Good grief, the choice, it’s all too much!
The main thing is, if it is going in between two slices, whatever you do, just don’t forget to pop a bag in readiness for some last-minute refinement at the table.
(Or on your lap, if you are eating alfresco. Just watch those pesky pigeons if you are sandwiching out in the park.)
However, perhaps in the past, too much focus has gone into sandwich fillings and pairings of said chips. Now is the time to elevate things further. Now is the time to really start broadening our horizons and to consider the bread itself.
Yes, knowing your loaf is an important virtue these days. Long gone are the times when you could simply nip out to the supermarket and nonchalantly pluck a standard white bloomer from the shelf. There has been a veritable explosion in the baking world in the UK and never has there been such a variety of bread at our disposal. In fact, it can be a bit of minefield, knowing your focaccia from your Zwieback. So, we thought it would be a good idea to showcase five of the best loaves out there, to build your ultimate crisp sandwich. Because if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
Of course, we may have missed a trick and if you are a fan of a particular style of bread for your crisp sandwich – you may even have a recipe – then please do share. You may have even popped along to the legendary Three J’s Sandwich Shop in Plymouth and tried some of their creations. We’d love to hear all about it. We’re just made for crisp sandwiches basically.
This tangy, chewy bread has slowly been making its way back into the mainstream for some time now. Its origins are firmly entrenched in the history of bread making and the method of making sourdough can be dated back thousands of years. But the resurgence has largely been down to some hippies in San Francisco in the 19060’s, who discovered the magic of Lactobacillus, the bacteria found present in the wild yeasts that helps this loaf to rise and deliver that characteristic ‘sour’ taste. To compliment this flavour, naturally, we suggest that you use our Sour Cream and Chive Lentil Waves. Along with a good Welsh Caerphilly and some piccalilli. Which also rhymes!
If ‘No Carbs Before Marbs’ is on your agenda but you still fancy a sneaky chip or two, then this Scandinavian or Baltic style of bread will at least help you win half the battle. Dense and dark in colour, rye can be baked unadulterated, to produce what it known as ‘Pumpernickle’. Or it can be mixed with a refined rye flour, where some of the bran gets taken out, for a lighter texture. Either way, it doesn’t rise that much, which is why rye is so popular on the continent to be used as an ‘open sandwich’. This in turn can lead to plenty of chip styling, so long as you get your base right. Think egg mayonnaise, with cress and a landscape of Smoked Crispy Bacon chips, jutting skywards like pork dusted mountains.
Homely, nostalgic, granary bread, with heaps of nuttiness and a malty whack to keep you going, is a loaf that by all accounts, was developed by the Benedictine Monks of Burton Abbey. Whether this is true or just a marketing ploy, we are not sure. But when it comes to getting all your vitamins, it is certainly one of the healthier slices out there. The really great thing about this bread, should you wish you to bake it at home is that you can deliver your own twists to proceedings, with whatever grains you have at your disposal. Speaking of grains, we reckon our Sweet Pepper and Chorizo Quinoa Crinkles go well with granary. Keep that munching quiet though, for fear of disturbing those monks.
Mottled and golden, with a firm crunchy exterior, Tiger bread is great suggestion for those who like a fluffy white sponge to butter, before laying down some handsome slices of baked ham, a smidgen of mustard and a blanket of chips. In this case, it has to be our Mature Cheddar and Spring Onion, for that vintage flavour explosion. But how do they get that crust so stripy in the first place? Well that is just down to a simple trick of painting a rice paste solution over the proved bread before baking. A quick blast in the furnace and it’s veritably snaps, crackles and pops. Yes, just like the cereal! By all accounts, when Tiger bread first appeared in the supermarkets, a young girl wrote in and said it looked more like ‘Giraffe’ bread, than tiger. And you know what? We are inclined to agree.
Mama mia, given the popularity of the panini – that pressed lunch staple, sold in cafes and delicatessens up and down the land – we obviously couldn’t forget ciabatta. But right now, you are probably thinking ‘Hang on, why are Burts including a bread or process that is going to crush the bejesus out of their chips.’ Well, this is where things get clever. Fill your ciabatta with some charcuterie, say some salami, along with a few roasted vegetables AND some of our Seas Salt and Malt Vinegar Chips and toast it in a sandwich press. The combined heat and squashing and combining of ingredients has such a transformative effect, it is almost like watching molecular gastronomy in action.
OK, we are pushing it with that last on but, trust us, just try it at home. Or ask over the counter for extra chips in your panini this lunchtime. You won’t get any funny looks. We promise.