Breakfast sandwiches have become more than just an on-the-go option for customers going to work in the morning. While offering breakfast sandwiches at the bakery cafe certainly provides an additional revenue stream, it also gives the retail bakery another chance at perfecting a popular signature item to keep the regulars lining up and draw the attention of those that haven’t had a chance to enjoy the fare.
The first ingredient you need to create your signature breakfast sandwich is some kind of bread or outer layer. A bagel, biscuit, pita, tortilla, multi-grain toast, etc., all count for that thing you need to put around your signature item. It’s preferable to use something artisan, house made or special in some way. Meat Cheese Bread, a sandwich shop in Portland, Oregon, uses two slices of its fresh maple-currant bread pudding for the outer layers of The Maple, its beloved breakfast sandwich.
Once you decide on the outside, figure out the main ingredient to put inside. Most breakfast sandwiches start with egg. Some include egg and another protein like sausage, ham and bacon. Some skip the egg and go with just a meat for the protein. Whichever way you decide to go, do something special with it. Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina, uses a piece of fried chicken—no egg—as the number one filling in its popular Big Nasty Biscuit breakfast sandwich.
Now you need to dress up your sandwich veggies, cheese, sauces, gravy, etc. Try to make it special without going so radical that the essence of it gets lost and customers will not consider it. Green chilies, arugula, green apple ketchup, apple-mustard and rosemary butter are just a few of the ingredients popular retailers use dress up their sandwiches. Get creative with your breakfast sandwiches and don’t be afraid to try new things and new combinations. This is how classics have developed throughout history.
If you want to go beyond the traditional sandwich structure, there are a few things you can do to give your breakfast sandwich a little more flare. An open face sandwich using any recipe or formula for a traditional sandwich gives you an opportunity to experiment with presentation.
To take things a step further with a traditional sandwich construction, use waffles or pancakes as bread. This creates an acceptable situation for introducing fruits such as strawberries and blueberries into your recipe, as well as whipped cream and chocolate.
Another twist to set your breakfast sandwich apart might be to go with a Monte Cristo. By dipping your breakfast sandwich in egg batter and then panfrying it, you could have an instant hit. You might need to experiment with ingredients as some take to this method better than others. Once you figure out your recipe, dust the hot sandwich with confectioner’s sugar and serve with a side of jelly or jam.
Whatever your signature breakfast sandwich ends up being, create buzz by taking plenty of pictures and posting them to your social media channels.