What Is Mollete?

Marjorie McAtee

Mollete is a type of open-faced bread roll sandwich common to Spanish and Mexican cuisine. The mollete is usually made from a halved bollilo bread roll, topped with beans, cheese, sausage, and salsa, and baked in an oven until crisp. Some have likened it to the French bread pizza common to American cuisine. This simple, easy-to-prepare dish may have developed as a breakfast food in the Andalusian region of Spain. It can be made with a wide variety of yeast breads, cheese, and meats, so it's generally considered a very adaptable recipe.

Mollete often includes bacon.
Mollete often includes bacon.

While bollilo bread of Spain and Mexico is traditionally the bread of choice for a mollette, the sandwich can be made with virtually any yeasty bread roll or loaf. Many people use French bread or baguettes to make this open-faced sandwich. Others use soft sandwich rolls or Italian bread.

Queso blanco, which is used in mollete.
Queso blanco, which is used in mollete.

Regardless of what sort of bread roll is used, the mollete sandwich is generally prepared in much the same way as a pizza. The bread roll or loaf should be sliced in half and, if necessary, divided into manageable sections. The roll is then typically layered with toppings. Traditional toppings include butter, refried beans, cheese, and chorizo sausage. Ingredients may, however, be varied according to taste and need. This sandwich is often made using fried eggs, slices of bacon, or leftover morsels.

Once the desired toppings have been added to the mollete bread roll, they should typically be covered in a layer of grated cheese. Any variety of cheese may be used, though cheeses such as Monterey Jack or queso blanco are often recommended. The open-faced sandwich should generally be baked in an oven preheated to about 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (176.6 to 204.4 degrees Celsius). Baking time can vary from five to ten minutes. The mollete should usually be baked until the top layer of cheese has melted and begun to bubble, and the edges of the bread roll have become slightly golden brown.

While considered a filling and easy-to-prepare breakfast food, the mollete sandwich can also be high in calories from fat and saturated fat. The typical mollete may contain as many as 250 calories, 90 of which may be from fat. The typical mollete sandwich may contain as many as 10 grams of fat, and as many as six of those may be from saturated fats.

Salsa is a common ingredient in a mollete.
Salsa is a common ingredient in a mollete.

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