1

I freeze sandwiches made from homemade bread rolls at the weekend, paired in plastic bags, and get a set out at 6 am to take to work in a rucksack. They stay there until I eat them at noon, when they're still pretty cold and wet, possibly because they stay in the rucksack's dark inside. I could make them a bit closer to room temperature by defrosting them in my home's microwave before I leave, or by warming them slightly in a microwave at work, but I'm not sure how much I should use either method or on which setting. Alternatively (if it would be enough, but I think it would be socially suboptimal), I could take the bag out at work so the rolls get some light. Is there an optimum approach?

  • You make the whole sandwich and freeze it? What is in the sandwich? – paparazzo Aug 8 '18 at 22:07
  • 3
    Unfortunately a frozen sandwich kept in saran wrap or a plastic bag will always be soggy by time of defrost - unless crisped up in an oven (not microwave - which will make it more soggy). – soup4life Aug 8 '18 at 22:18
  • It's chicken or turkey, with mayonnaise. The rolls come out of the oven crispy when they're made. The sandwiches actually aren't soggy; they're just wet from condensation. I wonder whether I should put them in the fridge the night before so the final 6 hours start from a much warmer point. – J.G. Aug 9 '18 at 4:59
  • Have you got access to a toaster in work? Toastabags are great for making toasted sandwiches in a normal toaster and will allow you to rescue a previously frozen sandwich – Chris H Aug 9 '18 at 7:21
  • Why not just freeze the meat separate and put the sandwich together at work? – paparazzo Aug 10 '18 at 14:05
5

No matter what you do in this situation, you are likely to end up with soggy sandwiches. This has nothing to do with light. Firstly, the bread of pre-made sandwiches will naturally pick up moisture from the filling and condiments. Often, even freshly made sandwiches will become a bit soggy by lunchtime. You've also created a further disadvantage by freezing. Freezing and thawing disrupts the cell structure of foods. When this happens, moisture is often lost. Of course, the bread will absorb this moisture. A microwave will thaw and warm, but will not remove much of this moisture. You would have better luck with an oven, but that would be more time consuming. Really, your optimal approach is to prepare the ingredients in advance, then take 2-3 minutes before you leave for work, and make a sandwich.

  • Suppose I stick with freezing and thawing, and care more about the temperature than moisture. Would it be better to defrost in the morning or at noon? – J.G. Aug 8 '18 at 20:59
  • 1
    Some of this depends on what is in your sandwich, as you might have food safety issues to deal with as well. If you can experiment with the defrost cycle of the microwave, and zero in on an optimal time, it might be best to defrost at work. Alternately, bring the ingredients and make the sandwich at work. Sandwiches are best made fresh anyway. – moscafj Aug 8 '18 at 21:05
  • I completely agree with moscafj. Bread is a sponge, @J.G. . I understand what you're trying to do, you want to save time in your week and I've been there myself, but freezing sandwiches is never going to give you a good result. – GdD Aug 9 '18 at 7:44
3

I think it is worth looking at your sandwich making process to see if there are any things you can do to reduce the likelihood of this dampness.

You mentioned that you freshly bake the rolls, do you allow them plenty of time to finish cooling and releasing steam before you start making them into sandwiches?

How 'damp' are the meats you use for fillings? Some processed meats have quite a high water content. Could you experiment with cheese or with drier meats like salamis or dried ham instead?

Does you mayonnaise have water listed as an ingredient? Many of the lower calorie mayonnaises have that and it can make the bread damp if it is in prolonged contact. A water-free mayo would avoid that, as would butter. Or can you keep a jar of mayo at work and add that just before you eat your sandwich?

You also say that you wrap them in plastic, which will seal in any moisture that might otherwise evaporate. You could consider a couple of options to combat that. You could unwrap them from the plastic in the morning and place them in a paper bag, or have them wrapped in paper kitchen towel inside the plastic as that wuld absorb some of the free moisture.

  • I do the paper towel thing. (even when I don't freeze them ... gives me something to clean up with afterwards) – Joe Aug 9 '18 at 10:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.