Surely you known the classic sandwiches, e.g., PB&J, turkey sammy, grilled cheese, multiple layered club sandwich builds, and the like, which mostly come in a square format. Other sandwiches can be elongated concoctions, e.g., hero, lobster roll, or endless Bahn Mi sandwich invasion and there are wraps. In my humble opinion a wrap is the total opposite of an artfully constructed sandwich.
Choice of bread
You may ask yourself, what type of bread is best for my sandwich? Let me tell you, I'm a sucker for sourdough ciabatta rolls that tend to be soft with a mild tangy flavor. With any bread, it is important that it is strong enough to hold the ingredients together without falling apart in someone's hands. I prefer a whole-wheat version over a refined type, e.g., white bread or a butter laden brioche bun. I make a few exceptions though, for instance, when it comes to lobster rolls, I'm going classic and want the bun to be New England style and buttered.
Some types of breads, e.g., baguettes, have a hard crust that has the tendency to scratch the inside of your mouth. In such case, I opt-out from toasting at all. Freshness of the bread is the key, even if it is a hot dog bun. Toasted or simply touched by heat for a minute in the oven is often of benefit. Twice a day freshly baked baguette won't need any heat treatment because of its crunchy freshness. That said I enjoy when sandwich ingredients are at room temperature. At that temperature the flavors can be fully realized on the tongs pallet. A few minutes in the toaster or in the oven does often wonders to a sandwich.
I prefer ingredients that are thinly shaved or cut into small chunks, including lettuce. In this way, the sandwich does not fall apart during eating
I'm a sucker for PB&J but any peanut butter puts a smile on my face that is smothered with a wholesome, natural sugar containing spread or jelly. In addition, this sandwich can be fixed quickly, with ingredients that most people keep on hand in the house. In my house, I make sure that the peanut butter is spread on both pieces of the bread because I don't enjoy when the bread gets sticky on the outside because of the jelly soaking through the bread. I often slice a ripe banana instead of jelly - truly awesome!
Down to business
Indeed, the subject of sandwich is quite endless and currently, I enjoy the following version of a warm peanut butter version. If you cannot eat peanut butter, for example due to allergies, substitute it with almond or cashew butter. This recipe combines my favorite sandwiches together. I believe that once you taste it, you'll be hooked! Let me know.
Baked Peanut Butter & Cheese
(makes 1 sandwich)
1 ciabatta roll
3 tablespoons peanut butter
6 slices, 1/16" thick of an acidic apple such as Granny Smith
4 slices muenster or cheddar cheese, 1/8 thick or 2 ounces
1) Slice the ciabatta roll horizontally. Toast the roll in the oven at 400F for 5 minutes.
2) Smear peanut butter on the cut side of the roll.
3) The apple should be sliced very thinly; I use my mandolin slicer for that. Lay apple slices evenly in a thin manner out over the peanut butter and then follow with the cheese.
4) Bake in the oven for 4 - 5 minutes. At this point, the cheese should be shinny and be very soft but not starting to melt.
5) Press the two sandwich pieces gently together.
Chefs Note: My 5 1/2 year old daughter loves it too. For her, I slice the sandwich into 1" thick pieces.