I am not much of a football fan.
My high school was so small…
(How small was it?)
…it was so small, we didn’t have a football team.
No joke. I graduated with eleven people.
Therefore, I did not get into the whole football thing in college. I still don’t understand it.
Never have, never will. I just cheer and groan when everybody else does.
That all being said, I love the Super Bowl because of the food. I don’t know where or when the tradition of The Super Bowl Sandwich was actually realized. It might have been as far back as my grandmother’s table as we all enjoyed chips and finger-type foods while Grandpa, Dad, an uncle and the cousins enjoyed the game. It might have morphed from our Christmas Eve Buffet when there are always sandwich fixings on the table. It might have been born from vegging out and watching bowl games all day on New Year’s Day. Regardless, I know that my BiL took on the challenge and makes his own Super Bowl Sandwiches, trying to rival my own. (And, I really don’t know when the name “Super Bowl” sandwich really got dubbed to this sandwich.)
During our after-Christmas feasting, I challenged him to deem whose was better, mine or his. I present The Super Bowl Sandwich, a recipe in two parts. First make the bread.
Super Bowl Sandwich Bread
2 c. warm water (105 and 110°F)
1 T. sugar
2 T. fine sea salt
2 T. yeast
2 t. Balsamic vinegar
3 1/2 to 4 c. all-purpose flour
Combine warm water with sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach paddle and mix yeast mixture until dissolved. Stir in Balsamic and flour. Beat until dough comes together. You want the dough to be sticky and somewhat loose, almost like a thick waffle batter.
Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm area for 45 minutes to 4 hours. The longer the rise, the better the bread.
Oil two 8″ round cake pans.
Stir dough down. Pour/scrape half the dough into each cake pan. Press dough down with spatula. (Dough will be very sticky.) Cover pans with a clean cloth or towel and let rise, uncovered, for 45 more minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake 20 minutes more.
Let the bread cool on racks, then carefully slice through the middle with a long serated knife. Then, assemble The Super Bowl Sandwich.
The Super Bowl Sandwich
1 loaf of Super Bowl Sandwich Bread (recipe above)
1/8 c. mayonnaise
1/8 c. mustard
1/4 lb. sliced deli ham
1/4 lb. sliced deli turkey
1/4. c. sliced pepperoncini deli peppers
1 medium tomato sliced
1/2 c. of shredded cheese (your choice)
Preheat oven to the BROIL setting.
After carefully slicing the bread in half horizontally, slather one side with mayonnaise and the other side with mustard. Place under the broiler until the condiments start to bubble and the outer edges of the bread are toasty.
Remove from oven. Set aside the top half of the bread.
On the bottom half, layer on the ham and turkey. Top with the peppers and tomato slices. Layer on the cheese and return to the oven. Broil again until cheese is melted and bubbly. (If making two sandwiches, repeat steps.)
Remove from oven and place top half of bread on top of the sandwich. Remove to a cutting board and slice into four quarters.
If you want to present a really BIG sandwich, you can use the bread recipe to make one giant round of bread in a pizza pan. (It is just a bit more awkward to cut through the middle.) Obviously, the toppings above are just a suggestion but this combination is our favorite. The BiL will sometimes get a bit fancy-schmancy and put on sauteed mushrooms and/or peppers. Really, the possibilities are endless. Use whatever you have on hand. (Dill pickles work good in a pinch, too.)
As of today, I couldn’t even tell you who is playing in Super Bowl 50. I can tell you that it will be on February 7. I am posting this in plenty of time for you to get the sandwich bread made and ready for your own Super Bowl Party. Serve with chips or baked beans.
By game day, I may or may not know the names of the opposing quarterbacks. I will know what will be on the table.
As to who won the challenge of the best Super Bowl Sandwich maker, me or the BiL? That my friends will have to wait until the next family gathering. The challenge still stands.
Stay tuned for a very special event…
Check back tomorrow for more details AND a fabulous giveaway!