Toasties and Other Great Sandwich Ideas
The 3-2-1 of Double Decker Toasties
Toasted Sandwiches and Sandwich Making
Toasties, toasted sandwiches, toasted double deckers (aka triple deckers) and great vegetarian sandwich recipe ideas for all things nice, but not necessarily healthy; especially if you're on a diet e.g. the famous British Chip Butty and the less well known crisp sandwich all make for an occasional tasty treat.
3-2-1 being whether you use three, two or one pieces of bread to make things on toast, a sandwich or toasted sandwich and the double decker sandwich (sometimes known as a triple decker) which can also be toasted.
This article provides just a few vegetarian recipe ideas for the humble slice of bread demonstrating the 3-2-1 principle to toast and sandwich making. Demonstrating that you needn’t have just cheese on toast or a toasted cheese sandwich but that by adding a third layer of bread you could have for example an egg and cheese double decker sandwich; optionally toasted.
Double decker sandwiches are simply your chosen ingredients sandwiched between three slices of bread rather than just two pieces of bread, as shown in the examples below; and which in many cases can optionally be toasted.
On a more serious note, in this article I also take a look at the healthier aspects of bread, giving a brief overview of different types of bread, its history, origin, nutritional health value and the high salt content of bread.
Toasted Double Deckers
AKA the Triple Decker
This recipe is for an egg and cheese toasted double decker sandwich although anything that you can put on toast or in a toasted sandwich works equally well in a toasted double decker sandwich. The double decker sandwich is sometimes known as a 'triple decker' e.g. dependant on whether you count the layers of ingredients (two) or the number of toasted bread separating the ingredients (three).
- 1 egg
- 3 slices of bread
- 2 oz. (50 gms) grated cheese
- 1 Small tomato (optional)
- A little onion to taste (optional)
- Knob of Margarine
- Toast one side of the bread under the grill until golden brown and turn over to crisp but not brown the second side; remove one slice and continue browning the remaining two slices until they’re a golden brown.
- While making the toast fry an egg Sunnyside down, grate the cheese and optionally chop an onion and thinly slice a tomato.
- Butter with margarine the slice of toast crisped but not browned on one side, sprinkle it with the grated cheese and optionally top it with finally chopped or sliced onion and a couple slices of tomato.
- Place the toasted bread topped with cheese back under the grill and grill until the cheese is fully melted.
- Place the cheese on toast on a plate with the other two slices of toasted bread.
- Butter one of the pieces of toast on both sides with margarine and place over the cheese on toast and then place the fried egg on top of that.
- Butter the last piece of toast and place it on top of the fried egg.
- Gently press the three slices together and cut in half (or four triangles) and serve immediately as a tasty snack which goes well with a glass of milk.
Making an Egg and Cheese Double Decker Toasted SandwichClick thumbnail to view full-size
Toasties (Things on Toast)
Anything Goes on toast, just about, and although it may not always be healthy toasties are easy and quick to make, and can be very tasty; you might say 'Tasty Toasties'.
Making 'Things on Toast' is simple enough. If the topping ingredients are to be cooked separately and added to the toast afterwards such as eggs (whether they be poached or fried) and or baked beans etc. then toasting the sliced bread in the toaster is the easiest and quickest method. If however the topping is to be grilled straight on top of the toast then you would make your toasty based on the following example recipe which is for cheese, onion and tomato on toast:-
- Under the grill toast the first side of the sliced bread until golden brown.
- While the first side is toasting prepare the ingredients e.g. grate the cheese, chop the onion and thinly slice the tomato.
- Turn the bread over and briefly grill (about 30 seconds) so that the bread is still white but firms up a bit (slightly crispy).
- Butter the whiter side with margarine, top with the grated cheese and onion and place the slices of tomato on top.
- Continue grilling until the cheese has melted and is a light golden brown.
My favourite toasty is stilton cheese and tomato chutney. Prepare the toasted bread as above and when ready butter with margarine, add a generous layer of tomato chutney, top with the stilton and grill until just after the stilton starts to melt; don't over grill otherwise the stilton separates and half of it ends up dripping into the grill pan.
Chip Butties and Crisp Sandwiches
Crisp and Chip Sandwiches
The British Chip Butty is my favourite although the crisp sandwich (shown above) is rather tasty too.
To save any confusion the American word for chips is Fries and the British crisp is what the Americans call chips!
Chip butties are simple enough to make, just:-
- Chip some potatoes and cook them in a deep fat fryer or chip pan until golden brown.
- Once the chips are cooked place them between two slices of buttered bread.
- Add salt, vinegar and tomato sauce to taste.
- Press firmly together, slice the sandwich in to two halves then eat and enjoy.
The Crisp sandwich is even easier to make; just empty the contents of a packet of crisps between two slices of buttered bread, press down firmly and cut into two halves or quarters.
See images below.
Making a Crisp Sandwich - The British Crisp (aka American Chip)Click thumbnail to view full-size
Three Ways to Toast Bread
- In the toaster
- Under the grill, or
- In a sandwich maker
For quickness the toaster is the obvious choice as unlike the grill it toasts both sides simultaneously.
In making 'Topped Toasties' or toasted sandwiches then you'll need to use grill; or if you just want to make a simple toasted sandwich you may with to use the toasted sandwich maker.
Which method do you most use for making Toast
Making Your Own Bread
For Healthier Eating
We've had a bread maker for a couple of years and it's a real asset, and so easy to use; just put the ingredients in the top and press a few buttons (to choose your favourite bread recipe), then just wait for a few hours while the machine does its magic.
We often make a loaf most weekends and it's so nice that it's gone in no time; these days making your own bread couldn't be easier and with the price of bread in the supermarkets these days making your own bread isn't any more expensive than buying it from the shops.
By making your own bread you'll be sure it's fresh, good, healthy and wholesome; especially if you decide to make wholemeal bread and don't add any salt to the recipe.
Health Value of Bread
White vs. Wholemeal
Bread is a nutritional food source high in carbohydrate (starch) for energy and protein (gluten), it's also low in saturated fats and cholesterol but unfortunately these days high in salt and low in much needed fibre unless you buy or make wholemeal bread. Bread is also rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc and calcium.
So all in all (apart from the salt issue) bread which has been part of our staple diet since the dawning of mankind is a very nutritional food source; although wholemeal bread because of its higher fibre content is much healthier.
Salt is a big issue, bigger than many realise in that too much salt can have many adverse health effects and the daily recommended dose of salt is only 2 grams (a level teaspoon being about 15 grams). Although the amount of salt in bread varies widely dependant on the manufacturer and brand of bread the average is about 0.5 grams of salt for each slice of bread meaning that with just four slices of bread you've reached the recommended daily level of salt. And to compound the issue just about every processed and packaged food item contains salt, as do most recipes. Eons ago before the innovation of refrigerators salt was essential in many food products as a preservative, these days it's not essential in most foods other than for flavouring; and even then there are lots of good healthy alternatives for flavouring other than salt, in particular a wide range of herbs and spices to choose from.
From Stone Age to Bread Age
From Where and When Bread Cometh
With the dawning of civilisation when humankind made the transition from 'hunter gatherer' to farming over 11,000 years ago came the domestication of wild wheat (from which bread is made); archaeological evidence suggesting that wild wheat was first domesticated and cultivated in southern Turkey.
From wheat ground into flour so we make bread, a recipe that has been around for as long as civilisation (thousands of years) making Rustic bread where wheat grain is crushed, soaked in water, knead into a dough and allowed to ferment from naturally occurring yeast before baking. Yeast being a fungus that naturally grows on wheat and other cereal crops but which these days is destroyed in the refining and processing of flour; hundreds and thousands of years ago it would have been naturally present in flour and could be used as part of the bread making process to allow the bread to ferment and rise naturally as the yeast fed on natural sugars in the flour and gave off carbon dioxide as a by-product during fermentation. Unleavened bread is where the bread is only made from flour and water without it being given the chance to ferment,
However you can imagine that a lot of the early breads wouldn't have been as light and fluffy as modern bread, it would have been a lot heavier and quite chewy but packed with lots of nutritional value. The early breads would have been wholemeal and therefore high in much needed fibre (roughage), essential for a healthy diet but sadly is lacking in too many recipes these days; and these early breads wouldn't have included salt which sadly is over used in recipes these days.
Healthy Bread Links
Home Baked vs Shop Bought
Do You Make Your Own Bread?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Arthur Russ