There’s a magical place in the United States called Denny’s, which also happens to be a place where senior citizens and truck drivers meet up and hang out. Not only is Denny’s a place to sit, take a load off, and drink coffee, but it also happens to be one of the world’s largest diner chains.
Like many other diners in the country, Denny’s has a big focus on American breakfasts. In 1977, in honor of Hank Aaron, Denny’s introduced the “Grand Slam” breakfast menu item in an Atlanta, Georgia franchise. Aaron had broken Babe Ruth’s baseball home run record three years earlier in 1974.
What is a Grand Slam?
Denny’s Grand Slam is still a popular option on their menu today. The Grand Slam is a BIG American-style breakfast containing: two buttermilk pancakes, two beef bacon strips, two sausage links, and two eggs.
That’s a lot of breakfast. A lot of vegetable-free breakfast.
In current times, Denny’s still values the Grand Slam so highly that they created a series of 30 video shorts on YouTube featuring digitally animated characters based on the items in the breakfast dish. You can check out that series, featuring Bacon, Sausage, Eggs, and even a character named Hashbrown in Denny’s Grand Slam YouTube playlist.
What does any of this have to do with a sandwich?
It’s not a sandwich. IT’S A SLAMWICH!
In April of 2009, Denny’s decided to take this Grand Slam breakfast and turn it into a sandwich. Shocking no one, they named it the Grand Slamwich.
Some people think this Slamwich sandwich was a direct response to the popularity of McDonald’s McGriddle which showed up in 2003. If you’ve never had one, the McGriddle is a breakfast sandwich with meat/egg/cheese inside two maple syrup-injected pancake-style buns. This combination makes for a very savory sandwich with maple syrup sweetness to balance everything out.
What is a Grand Slamwich?
The Grand Slamwich is not quite as much of a feat of engineering as the McGriddle, but it’s still a breakfast sandwich inside slices of potato bread that are pan-griddled in a maple syrup and butter spread.
The official Denny’s menu states that a Grand Slamwich is: two scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage, beef bacon, shaved ham, and cheese on toast, grilled with a maple spice spread.
While I haven’t been to Denny’s in many years, the idea of a super savory, meaty omelet inside of a maple butter-griddled sandwich stood out to me as a great idea. If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough, you’ll be aware that I’m a big breakfast sandwich fan. Denny’s Grand Slamwich is full of meaty goodness in the form of sausage, bacon, and ham but I also wanted to make a vegetable-focused version.
The potato sandwich bread
This potato sandwich loaf is a relatively new recipe for my site. It’s not terribly different from other simple sandwich bread recipes that I’ve shared, but this one includes potato flour which lends itself to longer shelf life and a bit of a softer interior.
Softer is almost always better when we’re talking about sandwich slices and any bread you can make at home that has a longer shelf life, you should embrace. FYI: I embrace this bread all the time.
Potato flour is flour made from ground, dried potatoes. The starch left in the flour will soak up and retain any moisture it can find. The moisture attractiveness of potato flour is helpful in baking because it leads to moister bread and rolls. And a moister bread will stay fresher longer because dry bread becomes stale sooner than moist bread.
If you can’t find potato flour, you can use potato flakes, aka dried instant potatoes. Potato flakes are almost the same thing as potato flour, but they simply haven’t been ground as finely. In theory, they should still mix into the dough in the same way, and they should absorb moisture similarly. I have used instant potato flakes in Thanksgiving bread rolls, and they do good work.
Here’s a slideshow of the potato dough and the rising process.
Below I’ve added some slice photos of the final bread from my potato loaf bread recipe. This is a great white bread recipe and will probably become my go-to recipe for sandwiches that require a simple, soft sandwich bread.
This is my potato sandwich loaf recipe. It’s great for grilled cheese or a breakfast sandwich.
Since we’re making two different Slamwiches, I figured I would collect the tips I’ve learned from making these breakfast sandwiches here above where I specifically talk about each type of sandwich. If you’re making a sliced loaf bread breakfast sandwich, you should be able to find some tips for those here.
Maple the butter
The maple spread in this sandwich is meant to replicate the sweetness from syruped-up pancakes in the original Grand Slam breakfast.
The maple-focused spread consists of two shocking ingredients: maple and butter. I made a bunch of these sandwiches and the best formula for butter to maple syrup that I found was:
- 2 tablespoons of softened butter
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
You can fool around with these ratios, but from my experience, this is what works well. You need a higher concentration of butter since this is what griddles the bread, but you don’t want too much syrup or that will cause burning or overly sticky situations.
Spread this syrup-flavored butter on the outside of your potato bread slices and griddle just like you would a normal grilled cheese.
Hot egg melts the cheese
By the time your egg-loaded “omelet” with all your Slamwich ingredients is coming out of the pan, you can use that residual heat to help any cheese get to a level of meltage. As soon as the eggs and fillings come out of the pan, immediately put cheese on top of the egg, and then put the egg, fillings, and cheese in between the bread slices.
Top it with a lid
To ensure even more cheese melting goodness before the bread gets too dark, you can cover the sandwich with a metal bowl or pan lid while cooking. The bowl/lid will help the pan start to form some steam and contain some heat that helps the internals cook a little and not just the outside of the bread. This will guarantee your cheese has a bit more of a chance to melt.
If you’re still struggling with this sandwich and getting melty cheese, you can always use the cheater grilled cheese techniques I wrote about in my tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich blog post.
Put it on a rack
Put your grilled sandwiches on a cooling rack to rest before eating.
All grilled cheese or griddled breakfast sandwiches will benefit from a couple of minutes of rest on a cooling rack. You will think this is antithetical to the idea of a grilled sandwich, but if you take hot bread and immediately put it on a flat surface it will steam itself and start to get soggy instead of crisp.
Put your grilled cheese sandwiches or Slamwiches on a cooling rack and let them rest for a few minutes or so and you’ll find that helps keep the bottom from getting soggy. NO SOGGY BOTTOMS!
The veggie lover’s Slamwich
First thing you do when making this veggie lover’s Slamwich is to figure out what vegetables you want to use. Then you cut them into small-sized pieces and sauté them.
Vegetables you could try in a veggie lover’s Slamwich: mushrooms, spinach, roasted potatoes, asparagus, bell pepper, tomatoes or caramelized onions.
For example, I went simple with mushrooms and roasted red peppers, but you can do any type of vegetable that works in an omelet. After the veggies are almost fully cooked, you add 2 eggs that you’ve scrambled in a bowl and any seasonings you might like. Once the sides of the egg are set, wiggle the pan to get more of the loose egg on top to touch the pan. When all the liquidy parts of the eggs are set, you’re ready to start folding. Fold the egg/omelet into the shape of your bread slices and you’re ready for cheese.
Here’s the recipe for my veggie lover’s Slamwich. Keep scrolling past for more photos and the meat lover’s Slamwich recipe below.
The meat lover’s Slamwich
This sandwich is all about meat and eggs. There’s probably one too many meat selections in the sandwich, but this is how Denny’s does it so that’s what I focused on.
You need sausage, bacon, and ham. I cooked and crumbled the sausage and oven-baked the bacon. The ham came from the deli counter at the grocery store.
You also need 2 eggs, 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices of soft white bread, and some salt and pepper. You can probably leave out the salt if you want…
Just like the vegetarian version of this sandwich that I wrote about above, you’re mostly just making an omelet, adding your ingredients, folding the omelet mixture into the shape of your bread, and then using that as the filling for a grilled cheese sandwich. Sounds wonderful to me!
Here’s the recipe for my Meat Lover’s Slamwich. Keep scrolling if you’re just here to stare at sandwich photos there are a few more down below.
This is a pork-focused omelet in a butter-toasted sandwich format. Maple syrup and buttery sweetness on the outside of the bread lends a balance to the super savory egg and pork-filled sandwich insides.
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 ounces breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled into small pieces
- 2 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
- 2 slices American cheese (or Cheddar, Monterey Jack or other)
- 2 slices of soft white bread
- mayonnaise (optional)
- 2 slices deli ham
In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of your softened butter and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Mix very well to combine. This is your butter and maple syrup spread. Put it aside to be used when it's time to work with the sliced bread.
In a second bowl, crack and add two eggs. Whisk the eggs to fully scramble them. Season the eggs with a little salt and pepper.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the last tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted and foamy add the two whisked up eggs. Shake the pan a little to make sure all the eggs coat the bottom of the hot pan surface.
Evenly crumble the already cooked sausage and bacon pieces onto the top of the cooking eggs in the skillet. Using a spatula or turner, shuffle the eggs, sausage, and bacon a little to make sure the eggs on top get cooked. All the liquid eggs on top need to touch the surface of the pan, so you may need to move the eggs around a few times to make this happen.
When the eggs seem fully cooked, carefully fold them over on top of themselves and then fold again to attempt to make the eggs into a folded shape that is close to the size of your sliced bread. Once folded, remove the eggs and meat to a plate and immediately top the eggs with one of your slices of cheese.
Wipe out the skillet and place it back on the stove, reducing the heat to medium-low.
Spread half of the butter and maple syrup spread onto one side of one piece of bread. Lay this slice of bread maple butter side down in the pan.
Add mayonnaise (if using) to the top side of the bread in the pan.
Add the second slice of cheese onto the bread. Immediately top the cheese with two slices of ham. Place the folded egg, sausage, and bacon-filled omelet on top of the ham.
Add mayonnaise (if using) to the second piece of the bread and then put that piece of bread mayo side down on top of the omelet/cheese.
Spread the second half of the butter and maple syrup spread to the very top piece of bread
Cook the first side 2 or 3 minutes and flip.
Cook another 2 or 3 minutes and flip and continue cooking and flipping until both the top and bottom pieces of bread have a good golden tan color.
Once the bread is cooked the color you like, remove the sandwich to a cooling rack to rest until you are ready to eat.
I love breakfast sandwiches
I’m not scared to admit it. I love them! You’ve probably got most of the ingredients needed for these sandwiches in your fridge already and you should make one.
Check back next week for an Oktober sandwich in September.