Breads, Spreads, and Sandwiches:

How to Make Great Sandwiches


This week we published, Hearty Soups, A Collection of Homemade Soup Recipes.  It’s free.  It has 37 terrific soup recipes.  Earlier we published, How to Make Chowders, A Chef’s Guide to Making Chowder.

In this post, we’ll deconstruct a sandwich, give you guidelines, and about a dozen sandwich suggestions.

For me a soup and salad or a soup and sandwich makes a great meal.  For lunch today, I made tuna on a whole wheat bread.  I used a Tarragon Honey Whipped Mustard and it was terrific.  That’s my favorite spread for tuna.  Whipped mustard is lighter and less pungent than regular mustards.  I find them amazing.  I would never eat a hot dog without whipped mustard.  But I digress.

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Sandwiches can be divided into four component parts: Breads, spreads, fillings, and garnishes.  We will briefly examine each.


I like the bulk and body of homemade breads, the goodness without a ton of preservatives.  We have over 100 bread mixes or bread helper mixes to choose from.

Your choice of bread is largely a matter of preference.  You can use sandwich loaves in white, wheat, or rye.  You can use hearty hearth loaves of sourdough, peasant, or pumpernickel.  You can use dinner rolls or sandwich buns.

The bread should be thick enough and firm enough to support the sandwich.  A meat sandwich requires more support in the bread than does a cheese or egg salad sandwich.  Some breads need to be toasted to be firm enough to support the filling.

There should be a balance in quantity between the bread and the filling.  Tight crumbed breads can be sliced more thinly than open crumbed breads.

The flavor of the bread should complement but not overwhelm the filling.  A rye bread with caraway works well with a Rueben sandwich but may be overwhelming for a mild filling.

I love a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.  The Roasted Tomato Soup with Bacon is great.  My favorite grilled cheese sandwich is made on Cheesy Jalapeno BreadItalian Herb and Cheese Bread is great too.

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Spreads such as mayonnaise, salad dressing, or butter are fat based and provide a barrier against moist fillings.  Without those spreads, tomatoes or pickles could turn a sandwich into a soggy mess.  Additionally, spreads add flavor and moistness.  Chicken or tuna salad sandwiches incorporate the spread with the filling.

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  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Guacamole
  • Jellies
  • Commercial sandwich spreads


You can put whatever you want on a sandwich from peanut butter to meats.  Meats should be tender enough that you can bite through them without tearing the sandwich apart.  Thin sliced meats, “deli-sliced”, are much more tender and make ideal sandwich fillings.

The filling is the star of the sandwich.  Once the filling is chosen, breads, spreads, and garnishes are chosen to accompany it.


Garnishes add flavor and moisture to the sandwich.  They can range from vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes to pickled peppers, such as:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Sprouts
  • Pickles
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Fresh, sliced vegetables
  • Dips and spreads
  • Sliced fruits

Featured Sandwich Recipes

Thanks for joining us.  We hope these suggestions help.