December 1st, my granddaughter turned 1 year old and she got a tea party deluxe. Her mom pinked everything up, made banners and lots of tasty finger food, with beautiful cupcakes filled with lemon curd. It was a lovely day with friends and relatives. My contribution was open-faced, cucumber sandwiches and I thought I’d share those with you today. You can substitute any of your favorite sandwich spreads for this recipe – tuna or chicken salad, ham salad, pimento cheese, etc. I just think these sandwiches are so fresh tasting.
The secret to the prettiest sandwiches is the shape of your bread. You can make a large loaf of bread and cut shapes out with cookie cutters, or you can bake bread in bread tubes and come out with crusty shapes that are pretty and tasty. Or, you can purchase honey whole wheat bread and use cookie cutters on that. Here, I used my standard bread recipe and doubled the amount of honey in it. Also, I added a whole egg. I apologize for the lack of photos in this recipe. It is one of the many earliest posts that lost all photos and I am slowly restoring each post. I will get to the bread post eventually!! But the recipe and instructions are there.
This bread recipe, after baked, can be frozen and that is what I will be doing with my tubes of bread to hold them for Christmas day. I will thaw them and slice them and then add different toppings for a lovely assortment of open-faced sandwiches. You can find bread tubes on Ebay.com or Amazon.com or Pamperedchef.com or in any kitchen shop. Of course, you can use mini loaf pans too.
First, spray mini loaf pans or bread tubes, with one end cap attached, with spray olive oil, making sure that all areas are covered.
Flour the pans generously so that all surfaces are floured.
Oil and flour the other end cap to the bread tubes.
Here are two flower shaped bread tubes and a mini loaf pan prepared.
After making the bread dough, divide it into two or three sections, depending on the size of your pans. You may notice that the sections are on an Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™, except I got in a hurry and didn’t notice that I floured it upside down!! The pastry cloth will work on the right side or the wrong side.
Roll the sections to fit inside of the tubes, or shape for loaves and place into pans
Place the bread tubes upright onto a baking sheet and cover with a warm, wet towel. Allow to rise in a warm place. I turn my oven on to 150º, let it heat up and then turn the oven off, placing the dough into the warmed oven.
When the dough rises nearly to the top of the tube, it is ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 350º and place the other end caps that have been oiled and floured, onto the bread tubes. Bake for twice the length of time normally used for a loaf of bread. The dough takes longer to bake in the bread tubes than in a standard loaf pan. In this case, I baked the bread in the mini loaf pans for 20 minutes and that in the tubes for 40 minutes.
In the meantime, for cucumber sandwiches, you will need:
1 8 oz package softened creamed cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp dried dill
sliced olives for garnishing
Place the first four of these ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Mix the cheese and spices until well-blended. You can use a wooden spoon or small hand mixer
When the bread comes out of the oven, allow it to cool until you can handle the metal bread tubes. Remove the end caps and using a butter knife, carefully loosen any edges of bread dough. Push the bread out of the tube and allow it to continue cooling on a rack. If making mini loaves, lift the loaves out of the pans.
Using a serrated knife, slice the loaves of bread about 1/4″ thick and spread cream cheese mixture onto each slice. Place a slice of cucumber on top of the cheese and garnish with a slice of olive. Aren’t they pretty? And they taste good too!!
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