Picnic loaf

This week was week 3 of the 2014 Great British Bake Off, they made rye bread rolls, struggled with ciabatta and made savoury filled loaves as show stoppers. Last year the technical challenge was an apricot couronne and as a variation I made  savoury couronne with spinach, parma ham and mozzarella which seems to fit with this year’s showstopper theme. Instead of twisting the dough into a couronne shape I simply wound it into a spiral, making a more solid loaf which, hen cut reveals to pinwheels of filling inside.

Picnic loaf 2Ingredients:

500g Strong white bread flour

1 sachet fast action yeast

2 tsp salt

125ml warm whole milk

125ml warm water

30g butter (softened)

Approx 8 slices of parma ham (or normal ham if you prefer)

1-2 Large handfuls of fresh spinach

100-150g buffalo mozzarella (the kind that comes packed in brine not the grated kind)


  • Place the flour in a large bowl or freestanding mixer bowl.
  • Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the opposite side. Mix thoroughly.
  • Mix 125ml of whole milk and 125ml of water in a microwavable jug and heat for approx 40 seconds (try 20 seconds at a time to avoid over heating).
  • Gradually add the warm milk & water to the flour mixture and stir with the wooden spoon (or fingers) until all the flour is picked up. Depending on how moist or dry your flour is you might need slightly more / less water.
  • Once all the flour is picked up add the softened butter and knead for at least 10 minutes. I let my stand mixer do this for me with a dough hook but it can also be done by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Place in a clean oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for at least an hour and a half until doubled in size.
  • Tip the risen dough onto a floured surface and knock back (knead out the air). Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a long thin rectangle. (It will try to spring back but persevere).
  • Lay out the Parma ham then add the spinach to cover the ham. (The spinach will release quite a bit of water when cooking so don’t add too much.)
  • Break the mozzarella into marble sized pieces and dot across the dough then add the fresh basil leaves.
  • Roll the dough into a long sausage shape then wind it into a spiral.
  • Place on a greased and floured baking tray and leave to rise for 45 minutes covered with a tea towel.
  • Preheat the oven to 180c.
  • Brush the top with beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes at 180c – the bottom of the lof should sound hollow when tapped.

Picnic loaf



Share Button
This entry was posted in Bread.

One comment

Leave a Reply