Stuffed Reuben Sandwich Loaf
Stuffed Reuben Sandwich
What is St. Patrick’s Day without a Reuben Sandwich? Actually I’ve made this a lot over the years as we liked Reuben Sandwiches all year long!
I made this three ways to see what was the best way. I made it with puff pastry (pictured above), refrigerator roll dough (my own, pictured later) and the original recipe of a bread dough. Here are my thoughts:
Puff Pastry Crust
This was absolutely delicious. In making it again, I would make sure my ingredients were at least room temp, or at least the meat and sauerkraut slightly warmed. If you make the meat yourself and don’t use deli meat, and if you follow my instructions for making the sauerkraut more flavorful, this will be easy to accomplish. As you can see above, there wasn’t any cheese oozing out. The insides were just warm using this method and cold ingredients.
Refrigerator Roll Dough
I have a recipe from a Good Housekeeping Cookbook circa 1970’s for a Refrigerator Roll Dough. You make up the dough, let it rise once, then refrigerate. My husband expected fresh rolls EVERY DAY when we were first married. His mom made fresh breads all the time. He never had store-bought at home, not even store-bought doughnuts. So, as a young bride I learned to make everything from scratch. But being it was only the two of us, I couldn’t make a batch every day so I always had this dough in the refrigerator. I could pull out enough for 3 or 4 rolls and bake them with dinner. They were fresh every day.
I recently made the Refrigerator Roll Dough recipe to take rolls to two different dinners. I had some leftover and used that to make one Stuffed Reuben Sandwich Loaf. Although the flavor was amazing, the dough was harder to handle. And because the yeast was not a quick-rise yeast, I was concerned about the 60 minute rise time and the safety of my interior ingredients. I know there were nitrites in the meat, and the fermented sauerkraut and the cheese should have all stood up to the time. I just like to be REALLY safe when it comes to food. I probably wouldn’t make it with the roll dough again for this reason. It did make a softer crust and for that reason you could use a roll dough. Maybe a roll dough from fresh with a rapid rise yeast would be better.
Rapid Rise Bread Loaf
The original recipe I used to make used Rapid Rise or Quick Rising yeast. This only has one rise so it goes much quicker. Also, the dough is easier to handle, it’s not as soft. With either this or the refrigerator roll dough you can vary the flour. I always substituted some rye flour for some of the white flour. A Reuben on Rye is traditional. Unless you’re an experienced breadmaker, I wouldn’t use all rye. The recipe would need to be tweaked. Up to a third is okay, more than that and you will need to know what you’re doing.
Which is best?
That’s really up to you. As I said, I had leftover roll dough and used that. It was delicious and not as strong of a bread as a traditional bread dough – which I preferred. The puff pastry was amazing, but since mine was made with real butter and no chemicals, it was very rich. The traditional loaf is stronger, holds up better than either of the other two. All three took about the same amount of time, if you count the thawing time of the Puff Pastry. So, it’s your preference. Try all three, if you’re so inclined. If you’re a newbie, start with the recipe below and try it the other ways after you master the technique.
There were a few things I did ahead. I made the meat the day before and sliced it cold. I blogged about that last week. Here is the link: Corned Beef.
When making the sauerkraut, I always use my mom’s trick: Warm the sauerkraut with some of the meat juices before serving. I had saved some of the leftover broth from making the meat and cooked the sauerkraut in that broth for about 10 minutes. Not a full boil, just brought it to a boil and then let it stay warm about 10 minutes. This flavored the sauerkraut.
Drain WELL after cooking, I drained with a fine mesh sieve and pressed with a paper towel.
The Swiss Cheese was much less expensive in a block rather than shredded. And the shreds usually have chemicals on the them to keep them separated. So, I shredded the cheese myself, before I started making the loaves.
The Assembly is quite easy! I will give you the pictures, step by step.
Roll the Dough
Roll the dough to about 14 x 10 inches. It just so happened my silipat mat was 14 x 10, so I had a perfect guide. I recommend doing this on the counter and sliding the mat onto the baking tray once you are done making the loaf. If you’re more adept than I, you could roll it in the tray. You just can get all the way to the edges, so I don’t like doing it that way.
Add the Thousand Isle Dressing
Only in the middle third, spread Thousand Isle Dressing
Add the Meat
You can make your own meat or buy deli meat. Spread the sliced meat down the middle. I don’t recommend shredded meat as it will all fall out of the sandwich when you’re serving and eating it.
Then add the shredded cheese
Top with the drained sauerkraut
Cut the sides
I tried a couple different methods to cut the sides. I didn’t want to use a knife on my silicone mat. Traditionally I have used a kitchen shears. But I have hand issues now and that isn’t as easy as it once was. So today after fighting with the scissors on the first one, I switched to a pizza cutter on the second and just made sure I used it lightly so I didn’t damage the silicone.
This is what it should look like when you get done cutting
Folding the dough
I also tried this a couple different ways – on both the bread bread type loaf and the puff pastry. I tried lifting, twisting and laying down in the center. And I also tried just folding over, alternating sides. While I like the twisting method for desserts, I do like the folded over method here.
Allow to Rise
If you are making the yeasted bread, now allow the dough to rise, as instructed in the recipe below. Otherwise, if you are using the puff pastry, you are ready to proceed with the next step.
Brush with Egg white wash
To give your crust a nice glossy look and to help adhere caraway, if you’re using it, brush the dough with egg white.
Bake the yeasted doughs at 400° for approximately 25 minutes and the puff pastry at 425° for 15-20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 for the final 5-10 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
Pictures of the Finished loaves
Yeasted Roll Dough
Puff Pastry Loaf
What is St. Patrick's Day without a Reuben Sandwich? In fact, we love them all year round! This is my favorite way to make Reuben Sandwiches. Make it in a full loaf, then slice and serve.
- 2-1/4 C All-purpose flour
- 1 C Rye Flour (or another cup of all-purpose flour)
- 1-2 tsp caraway seed, optional
- 1 TB Sugar
- 1 pkg fast rising yeast (must be a quick rise yeast)
- 1 C hot water (125° - 130°)
- 1 TB butter, room temperature
- 1/4 C Thousand Island Dressing
- 6-8 oz Corned Beef, thinly Sliced (see Notes)
- 4 oz Swiss Cheese, grated
- sm can Sauerkraut (about 8 ounces), drained well (see Notes)
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- caraway seed, optional
Before starting, put a pot of water to boil on the stove for later. You will need a pan, such as a 9 x 13 cake pan or roasting pan to help the bread rise.
In a mixing bowl (or mixer fitted with dough hook), mix the rye flour, 1-1/14 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and yeast. stir together.
Add hot water and butter. Stir until incorporated. If mixing by machine, add remaining flour and knead on medium speed 4 minutes. If mixing by hand, add enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough, then turn out on a floured surface and knead, adding flour as necessary, 4 minutes.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, roll dough to a 10 x 14 rectangle.
Spread the salad dressing down the middle third of the dough (lengthwise) leaving about an inch on either end.
Place the meat on top of the salad dressing.
Top with the shredded cheese.
Top with the sauerkraut.
Cut strips about 1 inch wide on an angle along both sides of the loaf. A pizza cutter gently used here works great.
Alternating the sides, fold the strips toward the center at an angle across the filling. If the dough has sprung back a little, just pull gently so it goes just across the middle.
Cover sandwich loaf with a clean dish towel. Place a roasting pan or 9 x 13 cake pan on your stovetop or in the sink, if you have room. Fill half full with the boiling water. Then put tray with sandwich directly on top.
Allow to rise 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, Preheat Oven to 400°F
Before Baking, remove towel and brush loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle with Caraway seeds, if desired.
Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until done.
- To make your own corned beef, see my Easy Corned Beef Recipe here.
- See notes in the blog about the sauerkraut. While not necessary to flavor it, if you make your own corned beef, why not add the flavor with the leftover broth. Adding broth here and there is a secret ingredient of many chefs. It adds depth that many home cooks don't know to do (but now you do!)
Enjoy this recipe!! Let me know if you made it and how you liked it. It is a family favorite here.