Bridge Loaf – Graze on Your Grandmother’s Gastronomy

From episode 108 – You Need a Shower

A bridge loaf is a charming sandwich loaf filled with salads and frosted with cream cheese. I’ve had more requests for this recipe then any other one that we’ve featured on the show. Here’s how it’s made:

You’ll need:
  • Shrimp Salad Filling (below)
  • Olive-Nut Spread (below)
  • Deviled Ham Spread (below)
  • 2 loaves (1 1/2 pounds each) unsliced sandwich bread (pullman loaves)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Few drops food color, if desired
Method:

Make Shrimp Salad Filling, Olive-Nut Spread and Deviled Ham Spread from the recipes found below.

Slice pullman loaf horizontally

Trim crusts from bread loaves. Cut loaves horizontally into 4 equal slices. Lightly spread butter over 3 slices to seal them. Without the butter, the salads would make the bread soggy.

Spread with first salad

Place 1 buttered slice on each of 2 serving plates or trays; spread each evenly with half of the Shrimp Salad Filling.

Place next slice on top

Top with second buttered slices; spread each evenly with half of the Olive-Nut Spread. Top with third buttered slices; spread each evenly with half of the Deviled Ham Spread. Top with unbuttered slices. Lightly press loaves together.

Cream cheese frosting

Stir together cream cheese, half-and-half and food color.

Frost loaf with cream cheese

Using an offset spatula dipped in water, spread half of the mixture over sides and top of each loaf. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until cream cheese mixture has set.

Garnish

Garnish with scallion curls, carrot flowers, haricot vert, olives and other decorative savory delicacies. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 2 1/2 hours but no longer than 24 hours. Cut into slices using a sharp serrated knife.

Shrimp Salad Filling
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery stalks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) tiny shrimp, rinsed and drained

Stir together all ingredients.

Olive-Nut Spread
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1/4 cup milk

Stir together all ingredients.

Deviled Ham Spread
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons grated onions
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce
  • 2 cans (4 1/4 ounces each) deviled ham

Stir together all ingredients

Bridge Loaf – A Storied History

Lunch and brunch dishes like this were very popular in the 50’s and 60’s. They may seem odd to us now, but these were all the rage at hen parties like showers and club luncheons. Other dishes this would be right at home with on a buffet table are tomato aspic, cucumber sandwiches and banana pudding.

Would you serve a bridge loaf?

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