:contest LuAnn's "Olga" Sandwiches :rectnt *PIC*

:contest LuAnn's "Olga" Sandwiches

OK, this recipe looks very complicated! Don't be put off; first of all, breaking the instructions down into one sentence bits makes them look interminably long! In actuality, while the recipe does include two "embedded" recipes, which could stand on their own, the bread is actually FUN to make - for those who enjoy playing with dough, and the yogurt sauce, which is VERY easy to make, is yummy enough to eat off a spoon, and has many uses, besides in these extraordinarily delicious sandwiches, my attempt to copy a trademark recipe from one of our favorite restaurants, Olga's Kitchen. Just a bit of background:

Olga’s Kitchen which began in 1970 in Birmingham Michigan has since expanded to include 30+ restaurants in several states. The sit-down fast food restaurant is noted for several trademark items, including their secret-recipe “Olga Bread”, a slightly sweet, chewy flatbread which makes most any filling more delicious – from the gyro-type beef and lamb to peanut butter and jelly! With a few tweaks, there are several vegetarian options on the menu; our favorite being the "Three Cheese Olga," served with their special tangy Greek yogurt sauce.

For many years, the only way for us to enjoy what we simply call "Olga" sandwiches, was to drive sixty miles to the closest Olga's Kitchen restaurant – usually a special treat reserved for birthdays or other special outings. (DD, Sonya, loves the restaurant so much, she long ago decided she wants to hold her rehearsal supper there (if and when she gets married)!

Although Olga’s adamantly insists Olga bread is a secret, several years ago, I discovered this clone recipe, said to be first published in the Detroit Free Press thirty years ago, which has allowed me to make our favorite Three Cheese Olga at home! After making the bread many times, I have made several changes to the recipe. The children now declare "Mama Bermeo’s" sandwiches BETTER than Olga’s! Just about the time I got my method perfected, Olga’s Kitchen is now making their bread available in some stores. To check locations, see * below.

Makes 12 sandwiches


LuAnn’s “Olga Bread”*
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup margarine (1/2 stick)
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
4 cups all-purpose flour (you may need slightly more)
1 Tablespoon instant (bread machine) active dry yeast

LuAnn’s Tangy Greek Yogurt Sauce
1 quart fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or more to taste; Olga’s sauce is very tart)

Fillings etc:
8 - 12 ounces Cheddar cheese, sliced (if pieces are large; cut in half)
8 - 12 ounces Mozzarella cheese, sliced (if pieces are large; cut in half)
8 - 12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, sliced (if pieces are large; cut in half)
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
6 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced
McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme seasoning blend

To prepare LuAnn's Olga Bread dough:
In a microwave-safe 2-cup capacity liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, honey, margarine and salt.
Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, or until very warm, but not too hot to touch (or to cook the egg)!
Meanwhile, break the egg into an electric mixing bowl.
Add the heated milk mixture, scraping the measuring cup thoroughly.
Add the flour.
Before starting the mixer, use the back of a spoon to make a slight depression in the top of the flour; place the yeast in this depression.
With a dough hook attached, run the mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until a soft, smooth dough is formed.
(If necessary, add flour, 1 Tablespoonful at a time – just long enough to keep the dough from sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl. A little may still cling to the bottom of the bowl).
Generously dust a clean work surface with flour.
Turn the dough out onto the work surface, using a spatula, if necessary, to remove the dough from the bottom of the bowl.
Shape the dough into an even “log”, twelve inches long.
Using a sharp knife, slice the log into twelve 1-inch pieces. (Each slice should weigh just under 2 ounces).
Arrange the slices on the work surface, about 2 inches apart.
Spray lightly with no-stick cooking spray (or pat tops of slices with lightly oiled hands), then cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel.
Let rise for about 1 hour, or until larger and puffy.

Meanwhile, to prepare yogurt sauce:
Combine all sauce ingredients in a large bowl; whisk until smooth.
If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.

Also, prepare the fillings:
Slice the cheese and onions, placing them on one tray which will be used by the cook.
Slice the tomatoes, arranging neatly on a serving tray, which will be used by the guests.
Cover and refrigerate both trays until needed.

To roll and cook the flatbread:
When ready to cook the flatbread, heat a griddle or a large, heavy-bottomed skillet to medium-high. (I use an electric griddle, set to 375ºF).
Working on a well-floured surface, roll each portion into a thin circle, about 8-inches in diameter.
(I use a large tortilla press lined with parchment paper to easily PRESS the dough into circles.)
Stack the rolled flatbreads, one atop another.
(A sprinkling of flour between each one will ensure that the rolled flatbreads don't stick to each other).
While working, keep the yet unrolled slices covered to prevent the dough from drying out an also place a second towel over the stack of rolled flatbreads. .
If the rolled flatbreads seem to have shrunk in diameter, flip the entire stack over and reroll, coaxing each circle back out to an 8-inch diameter.
If, perchance they STILL insist on shrinking, even after the second rolling, flip the entire stack over one last time and work back down through the stack, rerolling the circles back out into 8-inch circles. (By this third time, they will most certainly have learned who is boss)! 
Once they have stopped shrinking, begin cooking the flatbreads on the preheated griddle.
(A larger griddle will allow you to cook two flatbreads at once).
Cook on the first side(s) about 20 to 30 seconds, or until the top of the dough begins to blister, then turn and cook for about 20 more seconds.
(The dough should be lightly browned in spots).
Stack the cooked flatbreads on a plate, covering the stack with a clean towel.

To assemble the sandwiches:
Place a single flatbread on an individual plate.
Across the center, arrange a slice of each variety of cheese and several pieces of onion (hold the tomatoes)!
Without folding, microwave for about 45 seconds, or until the cheese is melted.
(While one plate is in the oven, you can be preparing the next plate).
Place microwaved plates on the table, inviting guests to add tomato slices, sauce, and seasoning.
Before eating, fold two sides of the flatbread over the center, enclosing the fillings.
Enjoy! (WELL worth the effort).

*Official Olga Bread may be purchased ready-made in some locations; see:

For other suggested fillings featured at Olga's you can also see their "Menu" on the website. If you have any flatbread leftover, you can easily make your own "Snackers", which you will also see featured on the menu. Simply cut a flabread into six wedges, deep fat fry (or fry in a shallow pool of oil in a skillet) until browned and crisp. Drain fried wedges, then sprinkle with the salad seasoning blend listed in the ingredients. Serve hot. Mmmm!

The FIRST PHOTO below shows the sandwich BEFORE folding sides of the flatbread over the filling; the SECOND photo is of the finished sandwich, AFTER folding, and READY TO EAT!
Source: Recipes developed by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals, based on a favorite sandwich from Olga's Kitchen restaurant.


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