Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How to make the perfect sandwich

615x330_sandwich.jpg

Oh sandwiches. As much as the process of lunching might have progressed and got more sophisticated over the years, we still can't think of a better 1pm meal than two slices of bread and a delicious filling.

But despite the alarming simplicity of the sandwich, not every combination delivers the goods. Lest we remind you of the worst sandwich ever. Sorry about that.

To celebrate British Sandwich Week, those bread-making types at Hovis have teamed up with Dr Mark Hadley, researcher at the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, who has created a mathematical formula for creating the perfect sarnie.

So, here it is:

And yes, it's going to need some explanation. “The equation governing the movement of liquid, like water on the lettuce or the juice from the tomato, is governed by the Navier-Stokes equation and this equation is the simplified form," Hadley reveals. "It becomes more complicated for a filling that can be compressed, like tuna mayo, which will flow like a liquid but with higher viscosity."

Yeah, so we're still a bit confused but Hadley's equation offers some proper scientific tips on how to avoid a bad sandwich and he's deciphered them for us here:

  • Pressure: Don’t apply unnecessary pressure (the p(x,t) term) it squeezes out the water
  • Freshness: The equations describe the deterioration with time due to slow diffusion of the moisture, so eat your sandwich while it is fresh
  • Butter: Use a thick layer of butter, it is hydrophobic and keeps moisture away from the bread
  • Moisture: Control the loss, or uptake, of moisture from the air into the bread:

- Butter protects the top

- Crusts are good; they stop the edges drying out (φair < φbread) or going soggy (φbread < φair)

- Wrap the sandwich tightly to keep air away from the underneath – but don’t squeeze it of course

  • Temperature: Most equations are temperature dependent particularly viscosity and absorption rates, keep it cool to reduce the reaction rates.
  • Bread: Use the right bread, a thicker slice like in Hovis British Farmers Loaf, has a greater resistance to dampness and can’t dry out so quickly either

Now go forth and make a perfect sandwich. Bringing it for us to sample is optional.

(Image: Rex Features)

Related

cemita.jpg

The world's 10 best sandwiches

donutburger.png

The world's 10 craziest sandwiches

sandwichmondrian1.jpg

Arty Sandwiches

Comments

More

People who buy organic food could be killing the environment

And it's not any healthier for you either

by Tom Fordy
02 Dec 2016

Here’s what happens to your body a whole day after drinking Red Bull

Red Bull gives you...

by Emily Badiozzaman
23 Nov 2016

The McDonald's Big Mac recipe is about to get a new ingredient

Things will get hot 'n' spicy for the classic burger

by Tom Fordy
16 Nov 2016

The 20 coolest restaurants in Manchester

15 Nov 2016

The most epic and odd McDonald’s meals you can eat around the world

Grab your passport, you've got a new world tour to plan

by David Cornish
14 Nov 2016

The secret of McDonald’s Coke has been revealed

Yes, you weren't wrong - McDonald's really does have the sweetest Coke of all

11 Nov 2016

The Pret Christmas sandwiches are here

And even the vegans get to join in

by David Cornish
08 Nov 2016

Best warm and boozy drinks for winter

Put some fire in your belly

by David Cornish
04 Nov 2016

Best pub in the UK on how to takeover a pub without gentrifying

by Sam Diss
02 Nov 2016

This East London local has just been named Michelin Pub of the Year

by Tom Fordy
31 Oct 2016