Spicy African Steak Sandwich Recipe

In this episode of the Baking World Tour we are going to Ivory Coast or Côte d’Ivoire. With an awesome steak sandwich recipe.

This is a common street food in Ivory Coast, but unlike on the streets I decided to go all out and cook up a thick rib eye steak for this one. Normally a baguette-like bread would be used, but I thought a slow fermented ciabatta stye loaf would suit a big steak sandwich like this.

The bread is toasted with the steak juices and spread with mayo followed by tomatoes, the steak, onions, and a good helping of hot sauce.

What distinguishes this sandwich from others is the spice rub for the steak made up of pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin, it gives a nice smoky barbeque flavour.

Because I cooked the steak in a pan, I decided against marinating it in the spice mix before hand as cooking a steak with caked-on marinade on hight heat would most certainly burn the surface of it. So, my method was to sear the steak in nothing but oil and get a nice char on it and then brush the spice mix on it as it was resting. This gave it enough flavour without compromising the steak itself.

When cooking a steak, it is important to let it get up to room temperature for at least one hour before it hits the pan. That way it will get cooked evenly. A super-hot pan is also crucial. I explain everything in detail in the video. If you have never cooked a steak before, then this will be the perfect guide.

This recipe is for one giant sandwich enough to feed two people. If you would like to make more simply multiply the amount of ingredients.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

190g (6.7oz) strong white bread flour

10g (0.35oz) wholemeal flour

2g (0.07oz) instant dry yeast or 2.4g (0.08oz) active dry yeast or 6g (0.21oz) fresh yeast

4g (0.14oz) salt

120g (4.25oz) cold water *

*To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


For the steak –

400g (14oz) thick cut rib eye steak

Spice paste:

2g (0.07oz) ground black pepper

2g (0.07oz) onion powder

2g (0.07oz) garlic powder

2g (0.07oz) ground cumin

2g (0.07oz) paprika

3g (0.1oz) salt

15g (0.5oz) oil

15g (0.5oz) vinegar


To assemble the sandwich –

Sliced tomatoes

Sliced onions


Hot sauce


Olive oil for brushing the bread

Vegetable or rapeseed oil for cooking the steak


  1. Make the dough. In a bowl combine the water, salt, and yeast. Mix to dissolve the salt and hydrate the yeast. Add the wholemeal and white flours. Mix until no dry flour left.
  2. Tip the dough out on the table and knead for 4 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 25C (77F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
  3. Cover and ferment for 1 hour.
  4. Fold.
  5. Ferment for 1 more hour. It should have puffed up to almost double the volume. If it has not, then give it some more time.
  6. Tip the dough out on the table with the smooth side down. Use a light dusting of flour to prevent it from sticking. Flatten the dough and try and make it longer in one direction. Trim the edges and add the trimmings back on the dough. Straighten everything so it looks nice and neat.
  7. Wrap the loaf up in a kitchen towel with a light dusting of flour. Place on a tray or on a plate and cover with clingfilm to prevent it from drying out.
  8. Cold proof for up to 18 hours.
  9. One hour before baking preheat your oven and baking vessel to 210C (410F) fan off.
  10. Invert the dough onto a piece of non-stick paper and brush the surface of it with olive oil. This will give it a shiny golden crust. Take the steak out of the fridge at this point.
  11. Place the loaf on your baking vessel and into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on if using. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. If you are not using a lid, then you may need to cut down on baking time by a few minutes.
  12. Once the loaf comes out the oven brush it with more oil. Leave to cool
  13. Once the bread has cooled for around 30 minutes start cooking the steak. In a thick bottomed pan on high heat add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and spread it around. The pan must be super-hot, and the oil should be smoking. Do not use olive oil as it will burn and taste bitter.
  14. Place the steak in the pan, press it down slightly and leave to cook for 2 minutes. Flip it and keep cooking for another 2 minutes. Flip again and cook for 1 minute. Flip one more time and cook for 1 more minute. If you take it off after this, it will be medium. I kept it for another set of 30 seconds per side for a medium-well finish.
  15. Take the steak out of your pan and place it on a plate. Brush both sides with the spice mix. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Resting will prevent the steak from bleeding all over your bread and it will relax the meat and make it softer.
  16. After the steak has done resting transfer it to another plate. Cut your bread in half and brush the inside with all the juices and marinade that was left behind by the steak.
  17. Toast the bread in the oven. I placed mine right against the broiler for a minute.
  18. Assemble the sandwich. Slice the steak, brush both sides of the bread with mayo, add tomato slices, steak slices, onion, and drizzle with hot sauce. Close the lid and tuck in!


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.


Watch the video here

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