Many parties call for serving sandwiches. Then, the question becomes how can you do it in style. A popular plating technique in casual parties in France is the Surprise bread. You can even buy Surprise breads in many stores in France, especially during the Holidays. You can serve a Surprise bread if you are invite your friends to take the apéro at your place (that is, you invite them for a drink), at a picnic or a casual party.
If you use the round Swedish bread, a cooked unrisen dough bread, making your own is quick and easy. The Swedish bread (called “pain polaire” in France) is characterized by its moistness and slightly sweet taste.
What is a Surprise Bread?
Imagine a tower that stands 4 to 5 sandwich tall and cut in 6 to 8 pieces. The thrill is that you take the piece of sandwich on top, without knowing what is inside. The Swedish bread is ideal for that since it is thin, it is easy to grab without being messy. And it does not dry out as ordinary bread would.
Select complementary recipes for the fillings. Since the tower cannot be too high, keep the fillings fairly thin for each sandwich.
Step by step instructions:
- Prepare 4 or 5 sandwiches as usual; each one has a different filling.
- On a serving platter, put the sandwiches one over the other. Try to create a striking color palette when it is assembled.
- Once, you assembled the column, you cut the bread in 6 or 8 pieces
Typically fillings included cheese cream and salmon, hummus, guacamole, pesto and prosciutto, brie or goat cheese with sun-dried tomatoes, ham and cheese or egg mimosa and chives. For a family event, you can create a second tower with an assortment of children’s favorite recipes.
Make it Stylish
I spoke this afternoon with Sophie Rayes at Gastronomia to know more about the surprise bread. You do not have to stop there. You can decorate further the surprise bread. For example, create a cylinder to wrap all or part of the surprise bread. You could add ribbons or affix decorative elements for a baby shower, a tea party or a big family picnic.
In Montreal, you can buy round Swedish bread at the warehouse store of Gastronomia. For the rest of my Canadian readers, Gastronomia sells online and ships across Canada. To get the free shipping, you could stock on frozen appetizers and get a pack of Gratin Dauphinois.
+ Swedish breads at Gastronomia $3.35 CAD for a bag of 5 units
+ photos: Pain surprise recipe at Pain Concept