Reubenesque April 20, 2011Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Eating Down the Fridge, Food, random stuff.
Tags: baking, pastrami
Do you realize that pretty much every edible product out there has some kind of test kitchen? And that these companies develop recipes that use their specific products?
And it seems that even yeast has gotten in on the action. Actually, I guess yeast got into it years ago.
In my Recipe Archives, from about a million years ago, I have a recipe for a Reuben loaf, cut from either a magazine or a newspaper ad.
I may have mentioned that I love Reuben sandwiches, so it should come as no surprise that this was an immediate keeper for me. Unfortunately, Peeps is not such a fan of messing up his corned beef on rye with a bunch of sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese. Sad, huh?
But you know, I like to think that I can be a little creative – I can make something we can all live with.
Of course, I started with the bread. The original, old-school recipe is a simple white bread with caraway seeds sprinkled on top.
I had plenty of rye flour left from the rye bread a while back, and I loved the ground caraway mixed in, so I made a swap – my sandwich would start with rye. I let that rise while I thought about my filling, remembering that dark rye flour is a lot heavier than all purpose, and it won’t rise as much or as fast, so if it didn’t double in an hour or so (which it didn’t), I didn’t worry (which I didn’t).
Once the dough had risen to my satisfaction (I poked it with my finger and it stayed poked), I gently flattened it and patted it into
an oval a mostly rectangular shape – about 10 by 14 inches.
Then came the fun part!
First, I took some of Peeps’s favorite mustard – this hearty, whole grain stuff that, well, it’ll put hair on your chest if you’re not careful. You could easily use Dijon or something a little less, um, aggressive if you want.
Oh, but first you’re going to want to transfer the dough patty to a baking sheet – I’d line it with a silpat or parchment in case of leakage.
Now, kind of slather the mustard just on the middle third of the dough, and leave maybe an inch border at each end – this is important. You’ll want good coverage, because, ultimately there’s going to be another bread layer. (But you can always add more mustard at the table if you want, so don’t go crazy.)
On top of the mustard, I added about a pound of sliced pastrami (steamed and ready to eat). It obviously doesn’t have to be homemade, or even pastrami. I’ll bet deli-sliced turkey or ham would work nicely here, too.
And then – the cheesy goodness.
I had about half a pound or so of sliced Swiss cheese – I layered that right on top of the meat, overlapping the slices so, really, there were 2 layers of cheese on almost the entire thing.
And then I sliced the other two thirds of the dough sheet – making “tabs” in kind of a diagonal pattern. You should try to be sure to make the same number of tabs on both sides – you’ll thank me later.
Look at it like it’s an arrow – and it’s pointing in one direction.
Start at the back of the arrow; first, you’re going to fold that border up over the filling. Then just alternate dough tabs across the top – kind of like braiding, only not exactly.
I like to try to tuck the ends in under a previous row. Or at least I did once I remembered.
Right before baking, brush with an egg white beaten with a tablespoon of water, then sprinkle with caraway seeds if desired. (I had an egg wash all set to use – but I forgot it. It would have made the final loaf all nice and shiny, but honestly, it wasn’t that big a deal. I dumped it in with the dog’s dinner.)
Bake about 25 minutes, until the bread is lightly browned and the cheese is nicely melty. Let the loaf rest a few minutes before slicing. I actually sliced it, wrapped it tightly in foil, and reheated it in the oven the next day – that works too if you want to bake on a weekend for a quick weeknight dinner.
I’d guess it made about 4 servings – three of us for dinner, and one leftover serving. (Which, by the way, was gone by the time we got up the next morning.) The only thing missing was the dill pickle – but you’d have that on the side anyway, right?