Introduction: Hand Sandwich

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Sandwiches are probably my favourite food; there's an endless variety of fillings, condiments and breads that make the combinations possible for this lunch-time delicacy infinite. Hungry, I rummaged through my fridge and wrangled up some of the usual sandwich-making suspects: spinach, onions, cheese, coldcuts, hey.. is that a hardboiled egg back there?

Making my way towards the cutting board, grasped hands overflowing with fillings, I thought how convenient it would be just to eat all the ingerdients in my hands as-is without actually making a sandwich. Remembering that sandwiches are awesome I quickly came to my senses. This project will show you how to make a hand sandwich!a handwich!

This instructable will show you how to make your own bread dough, then how to make a mold to bake your bread in and shape it into a hand. There are really two things happening in this project
  • process 1: making bread dough (step 1 - step 4) - start here
  • process 2: making a hand mold (step 5 - step 7) - start here

Enough talk, let's make some freakish fingered food.

Step 1: Bread Supplies

Process 1 - bread

This portion will explain how to make a basic bread from scratch. If you already have a bread recipe skip ahead to step 5 on how to make the hand mold.

It's worth mentioning that I have never made bread before this project, after making it I can say with certainty that it was one of the easiest things I have ever baked in the kitchen. You should try it.
Here's the list of supplies required to make simple bread:
Yeild: 1 hand
  • 3 cups - flour
  • 2 teaspoons - yeast
  • 2 teaspoons - salt
  • 1 cup - warm water (may have to add slightly more water)
You will also need:
  • large mixing bowl
  • measuring utensils
This recipe will yield one loaf of basic bread, if you're feeling adventurous why not one of these other bread recipes.

Step 2: Saccharomyces Cerevisiae..activate!

To start, add warm water to the yeast to activate.

Measure about half a cup of warm water into your cup and mix in the yeast*.
Mix gently to get the process started, clumps are okay for now. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the magic happen.

In the meantime we can start on the rest of the dough.

*yeast are alive, and as such are temperature sensitive, use warm water to reactivate them from their freeze-dried hibernation. if the water is cold they will take longer to activate, too hot and you can kill the yeast.

Step 3: Measure

For those interested, here is the proper way to measure flour.
As my pictures show I was too lazy.

Measure the flour into a mixing bowl then add the salt.
Go back and check on your yeast. Give it a stir, is it a murkey beige with no clumps? Excellent!
For those with undissolved/excessively-lumpy yeast, something terrible has happened. It's either the water temperature or the yeast was packaged bunk. Try again, use warm water, mix well, let stand.
The yeast has been mixed when no clumpy bits remain, add the remainder of the water required into the cup and add to flour and salt mixture.

I decided to spice things up a bit by adding in some Italian seasoning, add your own pizazz as required.
Mix all ingredients together until a gooey homogeneous mixture.

Step 4: Rest

Once you've got your dough mixed, cover and let rest at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Here's the science:
"As the yeast feeds on sugar, it produces carbon bread rises...carbon dioxide from yeast fills thousands of balloon-like bubbles in the dough. Once the bread has baked, this is what gives the loaf its airy texture"  - source

End of process 1.

Step 5: Hand Mold Supplies

Process 2 - hand mold

While the dough is rising we can make the mold that will form the hand. This involves making a ribbon of flattened aluminum from a disposable loaf pan, this ribbon will be bent to shape to resemble a hand.

For this process we will need:
  • disposable aluminum loaf pan
  • pliers
  • paperclips
  • paper
  • marker
To start. make the template which we will bend the aluminum ribbon to. Place your hand on the paper with your fingers apart and trace your hand.

Step 6: Aluminum Pan

The dimensions of pan I used was 25cm x 10cm x 9.5cm deep  (10" x 4" x 3-3/4"deep). We will be removing the bottom of this loaf pan and separating the sides to create our ribbon. When choosing a loaf pan for this make sure the depth is sufficient enough to allow the bread to rise while baking.

Start by using a sharp hobby knife to remove the bottom of the load pan. Be careful here as once cut the edges are sharp, wear gloves.
Your blade will be toast after this, be advised.

Step 7: Flatten and Bend

Separate the sides of the pan using scissors. We are looking to make a ribbon of aluminum. The loaf pan I chose was as about as wide as it was deep, meaning the once separated all my peices were a consitant width.
To gain some extra width use pliers to uncurl the lip of the pan sides.

Once separated roll flat. I chose a wine bottle which I had lying around, you may find something more suitable.

After all peices are flattened select two and join together by overlapping the short edges and crimping the overlap. In some areas I unbent a paperclip and stitched the overlaps together. It's advisable not to join all the pieces at once, the shorter the ribbon is the easier it is to bend and move around.
Once joined use the template created in step 5 to bend your ribbon into your hand-shaped mold. This mold is the outline only, we will use a cookie sheet for the bottom.

End of process 2.

Step 8: Fill Mold

Putting it all together

Has 90 minutes passed since you mixed your loaf?
By now your bread should have risen (see comparison in step 4). Place the aluminum mold onto a cookie sheet. Remove the cover from your container of bread dough and begin filling the mold with the risen dough.

The weakest part will be where the fingers meet the palm, make sure the joints are solid.
Once the mold is filled (with plenty of room left at the top for the bread to rise), cover the mold and leave at room temperature to allow the dough to rise again for 40-60 minutes.

Remember to preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F).

Step 9: Bake

After the dough has rested in the mold for around 40-60 minutes you should notice another growth spurt. It's now ready for the oven, remove cover and fire it in.

In a preheated oven, place your molded dough in the middle rack.
Bake for 45 minutes at 190°C (375°F).

Step 10: Done!

After 45 minutes check on your bread, using a thermometer or skewer you can check the meatiest part of the bread for consistency.

If using a thermometer the internal temperature should be between 94-100°C (200-210°F). When using the skewer method, after poking the bread if the skewer comes out caky the dough has not cooked. Place back in over for another 10 minutes or so, continue until bread is at desired doneness.
When done, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Give yourself a hand, you're done!
Time to make yourself a hand sandwich!

Step 11:

You are sure to be the talk of the lunch room with a giant hand sandwich.
The best part is that if the sandwich is too large for one sitting you can break apart portions and have 'finger-food' leftovers for another lunch, Delicious!

Happy making :)