So now that we’ve got that out of the way, that’s pretty much what we’re doing here. But only because we’re on a mission to make the best loaf sandwich! A big, hearty sandwich, perfect for hiking and camping and picnicking, that you’ll still look forward to eating later that day.
Let’s get nerdy and overanalyze basic sandwich construction. It’s really in the best interests of future-us.
- Thick, crusty bread is a must. No one wants a soggy sandwich.
- And for the same reason, spreads and tomatoes go in the middle of the sandwich between layers of meat. Important.
- Toasting the open loaf just a little bit makes a nice barrier but still leaves lots of nice, soft inside bready goodness.
- We’re sacrificing some of the greats like fresh mozz and sandwich-perfect giardiniera. Too much water, too much vinegar. It’s okay, there will be future sandwiches.
So here’s our game plan, bottom to top: bread, cheese, meat, wet veggies, lettuce, bread. We got this!
I totally used this as an excuse to buy Boulder Canyon potato chips because I’m a sucker for local foods, especially really really perfect kettle-cooked chips. 99% of the time I’ll choose tortilla chips (La Favorita is my forever girl) but there’s just something about sandwiches & salty potato chips after a long day outside!
Make-Ahead Picnic Loaf Sandwiches
- 1 loaf crusty french bread sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 lb. any sliced cheese like swiss, cheddar, muenster, or half & half
- 1/2 lb. any deli meat like ham, turkey, pastrami, or half & half
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 T. mustard
- as many fillings as you want!
- 4 large leaves of lettuce ribs removed & patted dry
- large square of wax or parchment paper 1-1/2 times as long as the loaf (about 24")
- tape or string
- 2 roma tomatoes thinly sliced & pressed dry
- 1 bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- 6 slices bacon cooled
- 1/4 cup sliced pickles drained & pressed dry
- 1/4 cup banana peppers drained & pressed dry
- 1/4 cup sliced olives drained & pressed dry
- Lightly toast the insides of the bread under the broiler until just barely golden.
- Arrange the cheese slices on the bottom half of the loaf. Top with one layer of meat, spread mayo on the meat, add another layer of meat, and spread the mustard on top.
- Top with all your fillings, making sure everything wet has been pressed dry with paper towels.
- Finish with a protective layer of lettuce over the wet veggies and the top half of the loaf.
- Lay the parchment paper on the counter so you're facing it as a diamond. Place the sandwich horizontally about a quarter of the way up from the bottom of the paper.
- Tuck the bottom corner tightly around the sandwich, then tightly roll the sandwich up about halfway. Tuck in the left and right corners, then continue rolling up to the top corner. Secure the top corner with tape or tie a string around the whole sandwich.
Nutrition info calculated using 1/4 lb. swiss, 1/4 lb. cheddar, 1/4 lb. turkey, & 1/4 lb. ham for an averaged estimate, without additional fillings.