Cheese and Lime Pickle Sandwiches


Sunday 26th January Midday

It is blowing and raining cats and dogs outside this Sunday morning and I feel like a post and a chat but I have been doing lots of things that are kind of the same as always and have no novelty to offer you. But on the off chance you might miss me (well a little) I thought I would just write a diary post and spruce it up with some glamorous bread photos, shot at 9.30 yesterday morning when the sun deigned to pop out and do its thing.


We also managed to get down to the beach and have a sunny dog walk before the mysterious twisty wind thing started up, so be assured we are making the best of this wild, wet and windy January.

A gratuitious toast with quince jam made last January now appears for no other reason than that I like taking photos of jam with sunlight shooting through it…


While I was eating the above, Brian was ransacking the loaf for sandwiches. It was a bread eating sort of a day.

P1070103To the subject of cheese and lime pickle sandwiches. Lime pickle is a passion in this household. To be specific Patak’s lime pickle. It comes in at least two varieties, medium, which I can eat and hot, which I can’t. Brian smiles a wolfish smile when he eats the hot sort and says, with a little smirk, “What do you mean, it’s hot!”  “Ha!” is what I say.

Cheese and pickle (after bacon sandwiches with brown sauce) are his favourite, being a traditional sort of a chap – they make perfect picnic food for taking to the beach and eating in a stiff breeze while you watch scary dark clouds race towards you and people turning and marching briskly towards home.


After a few bakes in tins, I have gone back to the bigger loaves for sandwiches and toast, because I think the crusts taste nicer when the whole of the outside of the loaf is exposed to the heat of the oven. Tinned bread, while servicable, and fitting better in the freezer always has a softer, even dare I say it, sweatier quality about it.  If you have never tried a sesame crust to your loaf, you should give it a go just once. I have tried various ways to get the seeds onto the loaf and have reconciled myself to the simple truth that they will fly about a bit, but the end result is worth a little bit of sesame chaos.

I roll the dough in the seeds, once I have shaped it  but before the final prove. I don’t spray the loaf with anything first and make sure the sides of the ball of dough are coated in seeds too to allow for the rise of the loaf. You can then either prove the loaf right side up or sesame seed side down in a floured cloth in a bowl or in a banetton. I buy large bags of sesame seed from Bristol Sweet Mart, worth looking for larger bags if you get a taste for something like this.

This particular loaf was half the date kefir recipe to be found here but you could use a more traditional sourdough style bread like the Hamelman one pictured here, or indeed any bread recipe that you are confident with that uses a proportion of wholemeal (wholegrain USA) flour.

I have also recently tried varying this recipe to use barley malt syrup, which is probably more readily available to people and you get a bread with that distinctive ‘English’ malted taste. I personally prefer the date syrup, but I am contrary that way.

This loaf weighed around a kilo. I baked it hot at 220C for all of 50 minutes and didn’t turn the oven down at all. It developed a very dark rich crust and the crumb was perfectly baked.  A complete joy of a loaf!

So together with some good cheddar and Patak’s pickles life couldn’t be simpler or finer.


We also made a second sandwich using the damson relish I made last autumn pictured above.

I am increasingly making more relishes and chutneys and less jams. This one is good enough to eat on toast all by itself but I can’t remember which recipe I used. I think probably Pam Corbin’s one in Preserves.

So my next project is to hunt out a good medium lime pickle recipe and see what we can do while lemons and limes are relatively inexpensive here in the UK…


On getting close to this tree swept onto the beach by a recent tide, Zeb realised it wasn’t a bone and left in disgust…

If you need an excuse to say hello (please say hello!) you could tell me what  you like to put in your cheese sandwiches?  Or have a quick moan about your weather… Misky tells me they had a twister in her part of Sussex yesterday.  I wonder if we had a mini one in the garden. There was a strange moment when the sky went very dark and the wind blew one way across the garden and then the next minute it went the other way…. apparently we do get waterspouts in the Bristol Channel and there was one round this time last year.

52 thoughts on “Cheese and Lime Pickle Sandwiches

  1. Debra Kolkka

    I like the sound of cheese and lime pickle and I am going to track down some pickle as soon as I get home to Brisbane. I left behind wet and miserable weather in Bagni di Lucca, had minus 14 in Helsinki and am now enjoying 18 – 20 in Hong Kong. I am not looking forward to 30 degrees and more in Brisbane, but it has to be done. Hopefully by the time I get back to Italy in mid March the weather there will have improved.
    Enjoy your lovely beach.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I wonder how you manage with the packing and the clothes, or do you do incredibly clever layering things, or have secret wardrobes stashed in different countries? I hope you have great times in all the places on your travels Debra !

      1. Debra Kolkka

        I have a wardrobe of clothes in Italy, but I have become very used to travelling with very little in the way of clothing. I can manage for weeks with just a few changes of clothes…all black, which becomes a bit boring, but it makes things very easy. I love coming to Hong Kong because I have very special friends here.

  2. Dave Angove

    Hi chaps,
    A year ago I started to experiment with sourdough – it was an whole new experience, as prior I had only produced a variety of yeasted breads.
    But I’ve now got the hang of it – the wonderful challenges of judging the various stages, from producing a really good sponge, to protracting the proving to elicit that fabulously smooth, tangy flavour and a gloriously tasty crust. We now have two starters on the go, the Oregon 1874 and our very own, home cultured (which we call Boat 2013- – we live on a barge, and cook in a Calor Gas oven – which can make life interesting)

    Anyway – the point of this diatribe is to add my favourite sandwich to your blog – – two slices of a fresh sourdough (with pumpkin seed crust), a generous spreading of good butter, thick slices of mature cheddar, four thin slices of Spanish onion, and before you add the second slice, thinly slice 2 or 3 Scotch Bonnet chillies, seeds included, and make sure they a spread evenly over the onion. Close the sandwich. Carefully cut in half.

    And munch.

    The kaleidoscope of flavours blend wonderfully.

    It’s a little hotter than Brian’s hot lime pickle – but it’s most rewarding.

    Thanks for your info – thoroughly enjoy it all.



    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Dave, that sounds like a ferocious sandwich! I have some Oregon starter saved in my freeezer which was sent to me by a friend and I baked a beautiful sourdough with it in a pot a few years back. You sound like you have a few cooking challenges there but I take my hat off to you for making it work. Have you tried baking in a Dutch oven/cast iron pot? How do you stick your pumpkin seeds on, and at what stage of the bake? all best, Joanna

      1. Dave Angove

        Hi Joanna,
        I’ve tried a few ways of dressing our sourdough loaves and rolls with seeds – and found that scattering them in the banneton isn’t overly effective, but I’ve found success with spraying the dough/loaf with a fine spray of warm water immediately it comes out of the banneton, then sprinkling it with raw (dried seeds), then put it in the oven to bake.

        I regularly do this with pumpkin, linseed, poppy, sesame and, my favourite – melon seeds.
        I’ve also tried dissolving a small amount of dried malt in the spray water (to make the solution slightly more ‘sticky’) I ‘think’ it works a little better – but the improvement is only slight – although the malt solution adds a little ‘glow’ to the crust!

        I bought the dried malt – and use it, as an additive to the dough – and now have a selection of different malts made by Munton’s (and packed for the homebrew market) – another ingredient I oft include is wheatgerm – just 20~30gm per Kg loaf – it just adds a further nuance of flavour without spoiling the fabulous sourdough taste.

        I haven’t tried baking in a Dutch oven/cast iron pot – (or a cloche for that matter) – for we simply don’t have room to store stuff like that at the moment (I’ve already got the galley cupboards stacked to the gunwales – (ha! – literally!). – Though it’s something I would like to do one day.

        Thanks for all your ideas, Joanna – your blog makes great reading.


        1. Joanna Post author

          You are very welcome Dave, glad you have enjoyed the blog :) I am partial to Muntons light spray malt too, always used to use it in white toasting bread. So many things to try !

  3. Jeannette

    Hello Joanna, I haven’t had much interesting to say lately, but I still look at your blog regularly.
    I haven’t been making sourdough bread so much of late, partly because of all the Christmas baking I was doing, I had all my family visiting, and partly because I like it so much I eat far too much of it!! Trying to lose a bit of weight after all the goodies over Christmas, it is far easier to put it on than lose it as we all know. When I do get around to making some I will probably use some sesame seeds as I love them, and poppy seeds too. Yesterday I made four Ciabatta loaves from Richard Bertinet’s Crust, they turned out very well, three went into the freezer and the other was made into a tasty lunch with bacon , cheese and tomato.
    As for the weather, we had a thunderstorm here in N.Wales early yesterday afternoon, big claps of thunder and flashes of lightening! Quite dramatic, the local football match was postponed much to the dismay of fans who had travelled down from Grimsby, you can imagine their reaction,not very pleasant! This morning it is wet but sunny intervals, I don’t think our roads and pavements have been dry for weeks, the ground is really sodden. Do you think we are all going to be submerged in the next few years? What a way to go!!!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I haven’t been baking nearly as much bread as I used to and when I bake I often bake the same or similar breads. I used to have more people to share it with around, so maybe I need to look for some new victims :) Your Ciabattas sound gorgeous, I have the Dough book but not the Crust one, would you recommend it? Any excuse to buy a new bread book …. The ground here is just as soggy I suspect, there is a lot of paw washing when we come in, up to our ankles in mud, hence the frequent trips to the beach, which though wet is ‘clean wet’ if that makes sense? I wonder if we will get any cold weather this ‘winter’. I can see small black slugs marching around the garden and we need a bit of cold to help control them !

  4. heidiannie

    Hi Joanna! I do miss you when you go into hiatus- but then again- I have not posted very regularly so I do understand! I don’t often eat just a cheese sandwich- I like mine grilled with pear slices or tomatoes. And I don’t think I’ve ever had lime pickles- I will look for some next time I go to somewhere other than Aldi’s to shop.
    Our weather has been COLD and snowy- people keep talking about polar vortexes and arctic blasts- but really- it is winter and January and I remember weather like this all the time growing up. We have gotten more than our fair share of below zero temps and snow- 8-12 inches forecast for this weekend- although as long as I don’t have to drive out with the crazies I LIKE snow.
    And bread- I find that an eggwash keeps the seeds on better- but then you have to do an eggwash and figure out what to do with all the egg left over. I love the look of your sesame crust- it is my favorite! Your jams and spreads look really delicious. I’ve been playing around with the texture of my breads- looking for something a little bit stretchy and light- two or three raisings have been the direction I’ve been trying. I’ll have to get a post out about these soon.
    Love to hear from you- your pictures are, as always quite lovely

    1. Joanna Post author

      Grilled cheese with pear slices sounds fabulous but I don’t think I could manage it out of the back of a car on a very windy day. The lime pickles are tart and hot and very strong in flavour. I confess I loathed it when I was a kid, always thought of it as my Dad’s pickle as he was the only one who ate it. Your weather has been horrendous, I saw photos of frozen Niagra falls and I read Cecilia’s blog and just wonder how you all keep going. I was listening to a farmer on the Somerset Levels on the radio this morning saying how nearly all his agreage is under 8 foot of water. This is not a quiet time of year weather wise for anyone is it?

      Eggwash : You are absolutely right it keeps the seeds on! Usually if I am going to eggwash I do it at the last minute and then seeds and into the oven, but I sometimes end up denting the loaf or distorting it, and I find that if I roll the shaped dough vigourously in the seeds, then they sort of embed in the crust as it proves and are less likely to pop off. I have been known to put left over eggwash in the pan and cook it quickly and give it to a small dog as a treat :) Looking forward to hearing all about your bread trials soon, love and hugs Joanna xx

  5. Misky

    Good afternoon.

    Mayo on my cheese sarnie. Mr Misky slaps on sugar-free strawberry jam; his mum used to do that, too. Sometimes I don’t bother with bread for my cheese sarnie. I call that eating cheese.

    The neighbour just popped over to say that someone broke into her car last night. P asked if the blighters broke a window to get in. No, she said, we don’t lock the car doors because the alarm is always going off in the middle of the night. If we lock the door, the alarm automatically sets itself.

    I suddenly have a hankering for a wedge of cheese.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have surfaced on the other side of night and you are encouraging me to think of cheese for breakfast :) very Danish !

  6. narf77

    That quince jam looks beautiful :). Steve must be a fellow “traditional sort of chap” because he loves cheese above all other foodstuffs and would happily live on cheese sandwiches if he was given the chance. Your bread makes me drool. We are getting a week of higher temperatures so making my own is out of the question (we use a covered bbq over summer) but you are tempting me with that gorgeous crust I can tell you!

    I remember living in a seaside town in Western Australia and being part of a large group of crafters working together in a church hall when the lights all went out, there was a tremendous “CRASH” sound and we all just sat there completely stunned! Turns out a waterspout had just taken out the fence right next to the church hall and it was deposited in a field 5km away along with many other stolen watery and most soggy items.

    I am off to Hobart this Saturday to fulfill your request (but ostensibly to take my daughters down to shop their little Korean grocery item hearts out ;) ). I will make sure to get as many good shots as I can to ensure I get enough for you to use/keep. The weather is gorgeous here at the moment so lighting shouldn’t be a problem ;). Must say I am excited about the prospect of seeing this statue.

    I purchased a perennial leek when I was last down in Hobart. Apparently they breed exponentially and you just keep replanting their offsets. Problem is they only breed exponentially when you don’t pull them out most enthusiastically and throw the “baby” (perennial leek) out with the bathwater (overgrown weedy material) :(. Oh well…at least I am going back to Hobart so I might be able to source another one ;).

    Loving all of that cheese and pickle/condiment action. Can’t wait to see a recipe for lime pickle. It sounds like something I could get seriously addicted to (both kinds :) )

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have heard about these perennial leeks and never quite sure what the sort is you have in the Antipodes, but I know I don’t have room for them. Very excited about you going to Hobart too, squee!! as my Twitter friends say. I am going to investigate lime pickling loveliness and if I get anywhere will definitely feed back, in the meantime there is always Pataks! (The thought of waterpouts really gets me very worked up, the stuff of nightmares)

      1. narf77

        Like I say…a hall full of crafting women and a waterspout took out the fence between the hall and the house next door. Not a scrap of damage to either property just a complete lack of fence where the fence had once been. The power of them is incredible! I might have to try Pataks. We actually HAVE that here! ;)

  7. Lynne Beutlich

    There is a lemon chutney recipe in Margaret Costa’s Four Seasons Cookery book..I would guess this could be adapted for limes… you have the book ?

  8. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Your loaf looks so lovely – do you have trouble getting all the seeds out of the banneton afterwards? I made poppy seed and sesame seed bagels recently, and there are seeds in every crevice in the kitchen, although it’s worse with poppy seeds because to my poor eyes, they look like ants. :) I loved reading about your day and seeing the lovely photos of the wintry beach, and especially your pic of your quince jam with the light shining through it like a jewel! Much love to you both xxx

    1. Joanna Post author

      I used a flat surfaced banneton, a wood pulp one? Have you ever seen those ones and there were no seeds in it at all. I am so pleased you like the photos. The quince jam was one of those accidental jams that worked incredibly well. Last winter I bought two boxes of quinces and poached them madly and excessively and everyone got sick of eating them. So I turned the remainder into jam, adding extra fresh sugar to the poaching syrup and got lucky with a nice medium set!

  9. ardysez

    I have heard about cheese and pickle sandwiches here and even tasted a couple and enjoyed them but I had no idea what kind of pickle to use. Love the photos of your jams and relishes and those cheese and pickle sandwiches. Isn’t the sun glorious when you can pair it up with food! Lovely post, and yes, I have missed you! xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Fruity pickles are good with cheese, but as you can see Misky favours mayo and her husband strawberry jam so anything goes really. Can you get Asian pickles in Alice? I don’t know what I would do without the sun popping in to the kitchen as it does, I would have to learn how to use lighting or something :) I am going to try and post at least every weekend, even if I have nothing ‘new’ to say. That is my plan for the time being xxx

  10. Le Petit Potager

    Everything in your kitchen looks lovely!
    I saw your comment on Carl’s blog about the balm sourdough and using apple juice concentrate. I have been feeding my rye starter diluted apple juice concentrate and milk kefir and don’t think I’ll go back to water again…..the appley taste in your rye grain bread recipe and a rye with hazelnut and fig bread to eat with cheese is sheer bliss!
    I agree with your comment about the larger loaf……make the best sandwiches!
    Always love to receive one of your posts.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thankyou! Have you ever made one of the dried apple breads or cider sourdoughs? They are very good if you like apple flavours. I don’t quite follow the bit about feeding a rye sourdough with milk kefir, is this kefir that you are making ? In which case it is live and full of yeasts and bacteria isn’t it? I wonder which of your yeasts are dominant in this new culture. I didn’t have much joy trying to convert kefir culture to a ‘sourdough’ water/flour fed one so I am very interested to know how you do yours :)

      1. Le Petit Potager

        The kefir is one I make; I always have excess and the apple juice concentrate is also excess …….when shopping I thought it was pear juice concentrate without my glasses on. The starter bubbles really briskly, it doesn’t seem quite so sticky as with water; plus the bread has a more complex flavour. I still use rye flour just replaced the fluid with half dilute apple juice concentrate and half kefir; kept the same hydration as with water.
        I haven’t tried dried apple or cider sourdough, they both sound lovely………must be my next sourdough loaf to try once I return from as short holiday in Tasmania.

  11. Gillie

    Oh I am so with you there on the lime pickle. Why on earth would you want to have your mouth and entire digestive system autoclaved by a pickle? On the other had there are so many delicious pickles and jellies (I am a total jelly tart) that turn a cheese sandwich into something so delectable as to be indescribable. And yes, there is still lime pickle….

    1. Joanna Post author

      There is hot and then there is HOT, and we all have our own limits. So you are a jelly tart :) :) Love it!

  12. Ann

    Cheese and pickle sandwiches are definitely the best thing for a beach picnic. Cue for ancient joke about “the sand which is there”.
    That bread looks so delicious. I love sesame seeds but they do tend to fly about – a bit like those polystyrene beads out of beanbags.
    Zeb is obviously enjoying his beach combing but if that tree had been a bone it might have been a bit big for him! It does look rather like the remains of some giant animal.
    After a hot spell here it was only 20C when I walked Spot this morning and I actually felt quite chilly!
    Re Heidiannie’s comment – any leftover eggwash here is always happily mopped up by Spot so not a drop is wasted!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Ah yes the sand in the sandwiches and between your toes, though my toes haven’t been out this winter ! Zeb and Lu love the beach, they shake with excitement when I pop the boot and they can smell the sea. They can see so well as well, it must be such pleasure for a small dog to have extended horizons. There was lots of debris on the beach on Saturday. The River Parrett runs into the sea at this point and the trees may be coming from the flooded Somerset Levels. It is very grim there at the moment. 20C sounds like the perfect temperature for a morning walk, lucky you!

  13. Karin Anderson

    Those pickles sound like something my husband would love – our refrigerator is full of condiments (where the is room left from my specialty flours). We had rain here, too, but it turned to ice right away, and slowly we are getting cabin fever, it is so ice cold, windy, and slippery, that not even the cats want to go outside.

    1. Joanna Post author

      The pickles seem most popular with people who love hot curries, I think it is one of those tastes that you grow to love and crave. I am sorry that you have ice, I never want to go outside when it is slippery like that. Last year I bought some special granules that do a good job that are environmentally friendly and yax trax for my boots. And then we hardly had any ice at all!

  14. hotlyspiced

    I miss you and I think it’s great that you can put up an excellent post even when you don’t think you have anything of interest to say. I found it very interesting! I love that lime pickle and I buy it often – we always have a jar of it and I can’t eat my home-cooked Indian without it. I’d love to see your recipe for lime pickle if you do go ahead and make it. I won’t mention our weather as it would probably make you insanely jealous! xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Lovely to hear from you Charlie ! Thank you! We also have another weakness which is buying bel poori kits from the Sweet Mart as there is no bel poori restaurant in Bristol and I have a weakness for pooris stuffed with potatoes and sweet and sour chutneys, sev, coriander and yoghurt. But I am going to research lime pickle and see what I can come up with. I imagine your weather and your beaches are just idyllic right now :)

  15. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

    As a kid I used to make cheddar and jam sandwiches, so I know I’d love that lime pickle! I’m off to look at it today, I have a feeling my kids will be into that as well. They’re still making sandwiches for University (better them than me.. glad to hand that job over!). Weather here is crazy.. cold and icy today, then hot the next with chinook winds. We have massive amounts of snow this year.. and no twisters:)

    1. Joanna Post author

      The pickle is very sour and hot Barbara, a bit of a mouth puckerer. My main memory of central Canadian winter (apart from the astonishing cold) is how dry the air always was and how the grass went brown. It rarely goes brown here in the winter. I have some vivid memories of the weather though it was so very long ago now that I was in Edmonton for Christmas. I hope it settles down to something manageable for you.xx

  16. cityhippyfarmgirl

    cheese and pickle is a favourite sandwich filler for me as well. It’s never a disappointing mouthful. Ever. And that’s any kind of pickle, chutney or current fave- naturally fermented pickles…oh they blow my mind.
    Weather here? Sunny, blue skies…feels like for months. It’s so dry everywhere, we desperately need rain in so much of the state.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I was reading about making lime pickle, I found a lovely blogger who described three ways of getting the lime quarters soft before mixing the final pickle. The first involved having 4-5 hot days in a row, where she put the limes outside in a jar with salt and let the sun do the work. Maybe you should have a go at those and take advantage of the weather you are having.

      Here is a link to what I was reading …

  17. sallybr

    I was also thinking that your posts when you got “nothing interesting to say” is more fun to read than many many posts out there! ;-)

    now I am intrigued by lime pickle – sounds like something I might enjoy a lot, and maybe even the hot version….

    great post, looking forward to more and more! (how’s THAT for putting pressure on you?)

    1. Joanna Post author

      “novelty’ was the word I used :) Nothing new, I find doing the same things,( which of course are not literally the same things, because everything is new, every minute of every hour of each day) very interesting. But I meant maybe when I wrote this – and I don’t always know exactly what I mean when I write – that there was no ‘new’ recipe, no new place visited, no walk not referenced before.

      I think you would love lime pickle if you haven’t tried it Sally ! xx

  18. Jan

    I do love listening to these ‘ping pong’ chats. They make me feel all is right with the world. And if all isn’t right then a cheese and pickle sandwich is the ultimate comfort food. Not a fan of lime pickle, Peter is and I would think a sandwich with scotch bonnet chillies in it would be pretty close to an incendiary device – light the blue touch paper and retire! Peter would give it a run for its money though. I do love the photo of your sunlit jam and the timber flotsam is quite extraordinary, almost like a mystery creature from the deep. Lovely post Joanna.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am glad you like the photos Jan! It’s a bit like playing ping pong in the dark sometimes from here :) I can also offer you a home made sweet fig and onion pickle with the merest hint of mustard seed to go in your sandwich. I am training myself to like the lime pickle and, since I said, I would have a go at making some, three bags of limes have appeared (I wonder who went and got those…) so I think I am going to have to try in the next couple of days xx

      1. Jan

        Sweet fig and onion pickle, she says, making a Moriarty “owww” sound! That sounds wonderful. We have a cyclone puffing it’s cheeks out in the north of Queensland and here in Brisbane this morning’s sunlit but warning -lavender colour has turned to the colour of stormy surf with gusty winds. Just the weather for tucking in to comfortable shelter with a flask and cheese and pickle sandwich!

  19. thefoodsage

    It sounds like there was a bit of a bread-a-thon going on. Never has a cheese and lime pickle sandwich looked so good. You have inspired me to get baking … again. Thanks!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am not sure what a bread-a-thon is, but if it has set you baking again, hey that’s great!

  20. ray@garlicbuddha

    Lime pickle sounds great! Dijon mustard and tomato with a mature cheddar on a sourdough granary bread would be my default setting.

    Hope all is well with you. I quit my job to do a PG Cert course at Sheffield University. Broke but happier. Still baking sourdough at the weekends.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have now read a few recipes and they all seem to require copious amounts of sunshine for at least a week. Not sure how to simulate that, so might have to do a bit more reading while my bargain January limes sit in chilly fashion in the garage. It’s always lovely to hear from you, sitting here staring at “You do not have to be good…” your gift to me and others who read your blog. I read it over and over. I hope the PG Cert course takes you on an interesting and happy path, all best to you both :)

  21. Pingback: Cheese and Leek Toasties | Zeb Bakes

Comments are closed.