What kind of bread for tea sandwiches?

Bumblebeez SC Zone 7February 20, 2009

I have to make "tea sandwiches" for 40 Sunday.

The term tea sandwiches is loose and just means don't bring cookies.

So, I am planning a curry, coconut, smoked almond, chicken, green onion type of topping with ...what kind of base?

I do not have time to do phyllo, however, I think I really want some kind of bread.

I will have to buy it - no time to bake.

Any recommendations or anything else that comes to mind?

White bread squished in muffin cups and baked?

Any brand recommendations?

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With no time to bake you can buy the Phyllo cups already made in the store. Or you could buy the small loaves of cocktail pumpernickel and rye that are good.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 2:14PM
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I use Pepperridge Farm Very Thin or Sandwich bread when making tea sandwiches. You need a dense, firm bread for the best sandwiches.

That filling would go nicely in the bread shells: cut a square out of a piece of bread, press down in mini muffin pans, bake on a low heat until toasty and bread holds its shape, cool on a rack, fill and serve.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 2:39PM
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We put our curry chicken salad tea sandwiches on Rye bread when we cater. You need a denser bread to hold up to the chicken mixture. It also offers another taste to the sandwiches. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 2:43PM
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The tea sandwiches I have had in Great Britain are just any old kind of bread you like that goes with the filling. Something that is a color contrast. Then the crust is cut off and the sandwiches are cut into quarters. Either on the diagonal or square. People also use cookie cutters to make them in other cool shapes. I can't be bothered to do that and I can't be bothered to cut off the crust--too much waste for my taste. But I guess the idea is they are iniform and you can see more of the filling that way.

I have done the premade phyllo cups with filling for teas. A friend took me to a real English afternoon tea once at a fancy hotel in London and I have been hooked on teas ever since. The menu was loads of hot tea that kept being refilled, a tiered tray with scones, sandwiches, and some other kinds of sweets I can't quite remember, and clotted cream for the scones. Served with white linen, china and silver, in highbacked chairs with a roaring fire in the fireplace nearby. Since it was awful December weather it was wonderful. I think the sandwiches were some kind of salmon filling, watercress with cream cheese, and maybe something else eggy, it was 20 years ago so I can't remember exactly.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 2:46PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thank you all for your quick replies! I was thinking Pepperidge Farm thin white bread so I think I will buy that and a rye bread for some color variation.
I know I can buy the phyllo cups - but they're expensive to me! At least compared to a pack of phyllo that will make tons.
I had an English tea last year at the inn at Biltmore that was amazing and something I hope to do again. All so beautifully and exquisitely prepared and delicious to eat.
But these sandwiches will be for our monthly womens' meeting at church and there won't be much fancy anything.
But the woman in charge this month is a great cook and I want to impress :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 2:59PM
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Also....tea sandwiches are nice made with a dense quick bread...like a honey nut bread with a cheese or creamcheese based filling.
Btu for chicken salad, I vote for Pepperidge sandwich white or that cocktail rye.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 3:08PM
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Here's another impressive thing I did once, totally unexpectedly. I was in charge of a similar type tea for a herb club, and I made ham and cheese with herbal mustard roll ups, and everyone was raving and raving, and for heavans' sake, it was just ham and cheese! But I used ham, cheese, mustard with some herbs mixed in, and lettuce, and then rolled this up in multi colored wraps, and then sliced them into about 2.5 inch slices and turned them on their side on a tray. The mix of colors was impressive. You could do the same with the chicken salad, and maybe mix it with one other thing. Besides the ham and cheese ones, I have done these sandwiches mexican style with bean dip, lettuce and cheese, and also used vegetable cream cheese and lettuce. Easy peasy and pretty.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:59PM
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The filling sounds good. I also thought of Pepperidge Farm Thin White. Was also thinking Ribbon sandwich loaf using your filling...

I never made one - always wanted to!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ribbon Sandwich

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 6:14PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

So many good ideas! Thank you!
I do like cream cheese stuff on quick bread fingers ... I might add that to my tray.

And rollups! Always beautiful. I really like the idea of herbs in a mustard. That would look pretty.
And that ribbon sandwich looks great too!
Coping everything for future use!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 6:25PM
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If you can get a loaf of soft white bread that isn't cut into slices, cut it long way. Spread the cream cheese filling and roll up jelly roll style and cut into small rounds.
When tea sandwiches were popular in the 60's my Dad used to make white bread with food coloring to make pretty pink or mint green colored tea sandwichs.
When my kid was small I used to make lots of tea sandwiches using soft white bread and cookie cutters.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:36AM
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I've given a tea following our neighborhood holiday house tour for the past 8 years so I've made a lot of tea sandwiches. Usually I buy bread (via the internet) from a wholesale baker who specializes in tea/sandwich bread but I don't know if you can get it shipped in time. I believe the name is Slim and Soft (or vice versa) & their slices are approx 12"x12" & thinner than a regular loaf. With the shipping, it seems expensive but can actually be cheaper than buying multiple regular loaves where there is a lot of crust/waste - & the large slices are a real time saver when you need 100 or so sandwiches.

Another thing I've learned is that no matter what kind of filling you use, be sure to use some type of 'adhesive', i.e. mayo,cream cheese, etc on BOTH pieces of bread & between any layers to hold the sandwich together after it's cut. Otherwise, they come apart & look sloppy on the serving plate.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 2:18AM
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Bumblebeez, I just re-read your post. I hope you mean NEXT Sunday - not today! Anybody who would expect you to prepare tea sandwiches (or anything else) for 40 on 2 days notice:

1.) has never done it
2.) is inconsiderate
3.) is reallllly out to get you

Let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 2:34AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Ha ha ...it's no big deal antique silver! I do this kind of stuff all the time.
I grilled all my chicken last night- which we also had for dinner- and did a test run of my bread. I have decided to use a piece of Pepperidge Farm thin white cut out into a circle with a biscuit cutter, then pressed into a muffin cup, brushed with oil, then baked. Really more of a crostini than a tea sandwich.
However, I only bought one loaf of thin white but I bought a loaf of soft bread that I will make more traditional sandwich triangles.
The hard part is that dh and I are going over to mil's this afternoon after church and I want to go too (really!) so I will cart everything over to her house and make the sandwiches over there. She'll enjoy watching me do that though.
I have really appreciated all the ideas here and will keep everything in my tea sandwich folder for next time!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 7:59AM
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