by Ali Seiter
Ah, the sandwich. Does there exist a more soul-satisfying, deeply comforting, childhood-reminiscent food open to as many variations, interpretations, and flavor combinations as this humble, unassuming lunch staple? I learned the answer to this question through the anguishing experience of eliminating sandwiches from my life for an entire 15 months after adopting a gluten-free diet, as I failed to uncover a quality recipe for homemade yeasted gluten-free bread, and sighed in disappointment at the gluten-free bread brands available at Whole Foods and the Willy Street Coop, most of which contained eggs as well as a number of questionable ingredients such as xanthan gum. I recently described this period of suffering on the blog in my full review of Jennifer Katzinger’s new cookbook, “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread: Artisan Recipes to Make at Home,” which, incidentally, liberated me from the sandwich-less void into which I had spiraled.
Since that post, in which I highlight the first recipe from the cookbook with which I experiemented—the Petite Buckwheat Round—I’ve recreated two more of Jennifer’s impeccable culinary masterpieces: the Raspberry-Rooibos Tea Bread (more details in this week’s upcoming What I Ate Wednesday post) and the Light Teff Sandwich Bread. Both of which yielded absolutely drool-worthy results, though I employed only the latter to fulfill any and all of my sandwich-inspired hopes and dreams.
Quite loathe to tamper too much with Jennifer’s precise recipes, crafted from oodles of experience, I allowed myself to make a flour substitution only after carefully consulting this helpful guide to gluten-free flours, which advises replacing flours with those that match their same weight; for example, since millet is considered a heavier flour, you would replace it with another heavy flour such as buckwheat. In fact, I partook in that exact substitution while making the Light Teff Sandwich Bread and concluded my baking experiement by removing a dense, moist, crusty, heartily flavored loaf of bread from my oven, immediately envisioning the many sandwiches in which I would soon revel. (To satisfy your potential curiosity, along with teff and buckwheat flours, this particular bread also contained chia seeds, arrowroot, almond meal, tapioca flour, flaxseed meal, active dry yeast, olive oil, and maple syrup).
So far, I’ve crafted four magical sandwiches based upon Jennifer Katzinger’s genious yeasty contributions to the gluten-free vegan community:
- Caprese Sandwich—two slices of my caraway-ified version of Jennifer Katzinger’s Petite Buckwheat Round, slathered with Kristy’s Oil-Free Pesto and topped with Miyoko Schinner’s vegan buffalo mozzarella along with a couple cherry tomatoes (I also highlighted this sandwich in my previous review of Jennifer’s book).
- Mediterranean Falafel and Hummus Sandwich—two slices of Jennifer’s Light Teff Sandwich Bread layered with Sweet Potato Hummus with Fennel Seeds & Smoked Salt, tender spinach leaves, marinated Mediterranean veggies, and the raw pumpkin seed-olive falafel from this wrap recipe.
- TLT (Tempeh, Lettuce, & Tomato) with Avocado (my favorite of the four sandwiches!)—two slices of Jennifer’s Light Teff Sandwich Bread spread with mashed avocado and topped with butter lettuce leaves, Kathy’s Tempeh Bacon (the best tempeh I’ve eaten in a loooong while), and a couple cherry tomatoes.
- Tempeh Tickle Sandwich with Almonnaise—having just received Dreena Burton’s “Let Them Eat Vegan!” for Christmas, I derived inspiration for this sandwich from Dreena’s recipe for Tempeh Tickle (deemed such because it will “tickle your taste buds”!). Her notes accompanying the recipe suggest serving the tempeh in a sandwich with a thick spread of Almonnaise (mayonnaise made out of almonds)—how could I not follow her persuasive instructions? The refreshingly crisp bite of alfalfa sprouts finished off this sophisticated sandwich.
Needless to say, I’ve lived in sandwich ecstasy for the past couple of days and fully intend to perpetuate this joyous state with another one of Jennifer’s winning recipes as soon as this teff bread runs out—Multiple Grain Baguette, anyone? In the meantime, I’m on the lookout for yummy vegan sandwich suggestions, so if you have any, please let me know!
Until next time, Ali.