Make Ahead

Party sandwich loaf redux...

May 21, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes one mini party loaf
Author Notes

...and reduced. This is a simple mini version. The full size party sandwich loaf, so popular maybe thirty years ago, certainly has fallen out of fashion. No doubt there are many who think this is deservedly so. One cook has written about the party loaf as an item your family and friends will hate you for, if you dare make it! Well my best friend, who was a Brazilian architect, back in graduate school, made me one frosted entirely with mayonnaise for my wedding reception. And I loved her for it. Fillings included hearts of palm and ham salad. It was not only beautiful, but also delicious. One trick, passed along from my architect, always thinking about structural integrity, is to make sure the unsliced loaf of bread is squared off on all sides before beginning. I have made a mini loaf here because I had leftover bread slices and delicious aioli. But I hope you consider creating a more updated version of the full size sandwich loaf, too, which you can love using aioli. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 4 slices of soft, but really good sandwich bread
  • softened sweet cream butter
  • 2 or 3 different kinds of your prize sandwich fillings (you can repeat one filling if you prefer)
  • 3 ounces softened goat cheese mixed with 1 oz full fat Greek yogurt and 1 tbl. of aioli
  • 2-3 ounces homemade aioli
  • herbs, pickled vegetables, vegetables for garnish
  • greens for garnish (red cress featured)
  1. Stack all the slices of bread together on a cutting board; then cut the largest rectangle you can from the stack by trimming away all the crusts and then some. You want these 4 slices to stack up perfectly. Lightly butter all sides of the slices except the bottom face.
  2. Spread each of selected sandwich fillings, layer by layer: What you select should all go well together. Crab meat salad, roasted pepper hummus, egg salad, spinach pesto aioli, whipped goat cheese with roasted tomatoes and rosemary, chopped cucumber and cress (good to include a salad course in your trio), salmon salad in mustard dill, ham salad in horseradish mustard, or chicken tarragon are some ideas to consider...but design a compatible combination you will love. Make sure you will be able to slice through each layer effortlessly, and that the layers will remain in tact, so select wisely. One interior layer can use aioli in the mix, but I would not use it on more. My recipe for the aioli can be found on this site- Reserve the rest of the aioli for the top. Keep the mini loaf straight. Press down gently as you build the layers.
  3. Next frost the loaf. I suggest you use a goat cheese mixed with yogurt and aioli as a spread for all the sides. Maybe use straight aioli for the top. Garnish with suitable herbs and pickled vegetables. Chill for a few hours for the flavors to permeate and for the layers to meld a bit together: this makes slicing easy later. Garnish the plate with greens. Slice and serve. Don't hate me if you don't like this! But if you do like this, then you could make a whole full size loaf of unsliced bread, which you then slice horizontally into 3 or 4 layers.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mikedalena
  • fiveandspice
  • Bevi
  • ChefJune
  • meganvt01

22 Reviews

mikedalena December 12, 2019
I’m very excited to build something like this! What a great recipe. The recipe is really the concept. The fillings are flexible and can be created with seasonal flair. And who doesn’t love a sandwich‽ Who’s that? Oh, they’re wrong.

I just thought of a sweet variation using raisin cinnamon bread and a variety of fruits and cream cheese as fillings. O. M. G. The possibilities are endless and if we all try hard enough we can make this a thing again! Viva La Party Sandwich Loaf!
fiveandspice May 24, 2011
Oh, I think this version could re-start the trend with gusto!
Bevi May 24, 2011
This ls so gorgeous!
Sagegreen May 24, 2011
Thank you, Bevi.
ChefJune May 22, 2011

Folks say that about fruit cake, too. But they're wrong on all counts. It all depends upon the cook who makes the dish, and the ingenuity that goes into the creation of that particular dish. Not to mention the flavors chosen for it! No dish needs to be trite and commonplace.

Your sandwich loaf is gorgeous and appetizing. I wish I could have a slice for lunch right now!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Many thanks, Chef June. What you say about the 'depends on the cook' is so true!
mikedalena December 12, 2019
Fruit cake for the win!
meganvt01 May 22, 2011
This looks so beautiful!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, megan. I actually made 2 and they are both gone already.
lorigoldsby May 22, 2011
Absolutely beautiful!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, lori!
boulangere May 21, 2011
I had a feeling you were on to something here.
Sagegreen May 21, 2011
Aw, thanks! After a few hours of chilling this really did taste so much better. It is always fun to use up leftovers in new ways as we let our memories and these contest prompts inspire!
boulangere May 21, 2011
Mmmm. I very much agree. I was thinking last night how much I learn from each contest in ways that end up surprising me.
Lizthechef May 21, 2011
Amazing. Gorgeous. Thumbs up!
Sagegreen May 21, 2011
Thank you so much, Liz. I am looking forward to my foray to Brooklyn next weekend. SO sorry our paths will not cross this June. Hope you will have a wonderful trip!
wssmom May 21, 2011
The Wayback Machine at work! This looks and sounds absolutely delightful! Thanks so much for posting!
Sagegreen May 21, 2011
Thanks, wssmom. This has such fond memories for me, I am really happy to offer my mini version with some updated ingredients. I guess traditionally cream cheese was favored as a frosting. I only had it with mayo. You just want light, airy fillings with some bright herbs and finely minced veg. I was amazed how easy 4 slices of bread were to fashion into a mini loaf, too.
boulangere May 21, 2011
Seriously, I'm putting together a graduation menu proposal as we speak, and I'm going to add a few mini versions of this. I love all its possibilities, its colors, its flavors.
Sagegreen May 21, 2011
Oh, I would love to see what you choose! Good luck getting through graduation. I am now happily on the other side...first time in some time to experiment back in the kitchen!
boulangere May 21, 2011
What goes around comes around. Why you would even thing of apologizing for this gorgeous creation is a mystery to me. I could cut a slab straight out of the photo right now. You've given an old dear a beautiful redo.
Sagegreen May 21, 2011
Thanks so much! I treasure your knowledge and skills, so that is a huge, reassuring compliment. I used herbed egg salad, ham salad in a dill/horseradish mustard sauce with a cheese layer on a light rye. Using 4 slices of bread makes the perfect sampler size to experiment with the fillings, too.