45 min

This filled loaf is perfect for a picnic and also makes an excellent lunch box treat.  It’s moist and delicious and was very popular with my friends and family sitting and enjoying it on the beach.

Picnic Loaf


For the bread

200g wholemeal bread flour

300g strong white bread flour

8g easy blend yeast

10g salt

20g butter, melted and cooled

1 tbsp light muscovado sugar

320ml tepid water

For the filling

8 slices prosciutto

2 slices mortadella

4 Emmental slices

8 slices salami

3 large tomatoes, sliced

2 red peppers

2 yellow peppers

2 tbsp pesto

1 – 2 tbsp olive oil


In a jug, stir the yeast and sugar into the water and leave until the yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes.

Pour the yeast mixture into a large bowl.  Add the water and butter and stir in the flour and salt.  Mix everything together until it forms a soft dough.  You may need to add a little more water if the dough is too dry or a little more flour if the dough is too wet.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 – 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  If you like to use your stand mixer for this, only knead for about 5 minutes.

Place the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm, I use a shower cap, and leave in a warm place until at least doubled in size.  This will take between 1 – 2 hours.

Preheat the grill in your oven to the hottest setting.  Lightly grease a large baking tin.  Cut the peppers in half and discard the seeds.  Place the peppers cut side down into the baking tin and grill until blackened.  Wrap the hot peppers tightly into tin foil and leave to cool.  Once cooled, remove and discard the skins.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and lightly knead for 2 – 3 minutes then form the dough into a ball and place on a lightly greased baking tray.   Cover with a large oiled mixing bowl and leave until doubled in size, in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.  Bake the loaf for about 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Slice the top (about a quarter to make a lid) of the loaf and set aside.  Hollow out the centre of the loaf leaving a 2 – 3 centimetre border and making sure not to cut into the bottom.  Drizzle the base of the inside of the loaf with 2/3 of the olive oil and spread with half the pesto.  Layer with your filling ingredients to the top.  Drizzle the inside of the lid with some more olive oil and spread with the remaining pesto.  Put the lid back onto the loaf and gently press down.  Tightly wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge with some weights on the top to press the filling down.  Let it rest in the fridge overnight.

When you are ready to serve, cut the loaf into wedges and enjoy.


You can fill this loaf with any combination of cold meats and or vegetables of your liking.

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