One of my favourite summer pastimes is enjoying a picnic in a lovely local park with friends and family. I’m therefore always looking for delicious dishes that are easy to transport, keep well and are easy to eat, all whilst being packed with flavour! When I discovered the wonderful trend of stuffed picnic loaves I knew I had to make one for my next picnic.
A stuffed picnic loaf is created using a boule style bread loaf, a rustic round shaped crusty loaf, that can be hollowed out and filled with layers of ingredients. This is then wrapped tightly and keeps very well overnight in the fridge. In fact I think this makes the sandwich better as it’s had time to properly infuse! Whilst in the fridge you need to weight the loaf down, under a pan or baking tray to slightly press the loaf. This also helps the layers to press and makes cutting easier at the picnic.
There are endless possibilities for the fillings in a stuffed picnic loaf, you can completely go to town on the fillings you love or work to a theme of meats, cheeses and other fillings. It is so customisable to your preferences, which I love!
The core ingredients needed to layer up for the recipe are;
- A round boule bread, made from any grain of your choice.
- A flavourful spread, e.g a garlic butter, pesto, dressing, mustards, tapenades, flavoured mayos etc
- Spinach or lettuce leaves, greenery!
- Cheese! This should be sliced but could be cheddar, red leicester, manchego, vegan alternatives and mozzarella. I like using mozzarella as it holds it shape and copes better with warmer weather I find!
- Deli meats, thinly sliced like salami, pastrami, ham, pepperoni, chicken
- Other deli or antipasti items. Popular options include olives, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers etc
I decided to keep mine with an Italian theme packed with Italian antipasti favourites like pesto, salami, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, spinach and mozzarella!
The Step by Step
My Italian stuffed picnic loaf was definitely the main event of the picnic spread! Simple to make in advance, transport wrapped up and then cut into wedges on the picnic. This was the perfect dish to share easily, a plus for any pandemic picnics, and as it’s packed with flavour really was the star dish people talked about.
I will definitely be making more of these in future, in fact I’ve had requests for them at family day trips and garden parties already. I’m looking forward to trying other themes for the fillings like Greek, American, BBQ, Cobb salad, Ploughmans and branching out of picnic season to maybe even try Christmas flavours with turkey, cranberry, stuffing and more!!! Let me know what flavour combos you experiment with!
Did you make this recipe?