The theme is "picnic," and for me, picnics are rare these days. I would rather prep in my kitchen and grill in the back yard, then eat in the house while I enjoy the air conditioning and the absence of flying and crawling critters trying to eat me and share my feast.
Because so much of the work in doing a picnic is in the packing up of everything from salt and pepper to plates and napkins, and drinks to desserts, I prefer absolute simplicity. My preference is for a picnic of a bottle of wine or beer, a loaf of artisan bread, and some great cheese.
Originally, I had another plan, but it fell through because I forgot to get an essential part when we went grocery shopping this morning. DH and I make the trip to the commissary about every two weeks, and this time it was longer due to our not feeling well. ...Summer colds are the pits! Anyway, I had to give more thought to how I would tie "picnic" and recycling together in another way and make this one a quick project. What I came up with is bread. The recycled element is "bubba" my sourdough starter, and my whole grain, seeded experiment is rising as I type. What better for a picnic than hearty homemade bread, Boar's Head cheese, and a glass of American wine? In this first photo, I am trying out a new recipe that after an hour of "rising" looks like the dough has no back-bone at all. Just a glob of gooey dough. I took it from here and kneaded in more unbleached flour to increase gluten, and added in some honey to sweeten it up a little and give the yeastie beasties something to grow on, and after a good rise, it baked into a fine loaf.
Pairing it up with wine and cheese is all good, but another favorite recipe is a triumph truly fit for a picnic.
Recipe for picnic loaf:
- Slice the boule in half horizontally. Scoop out the inner portion, leaving the crust walls about 3/4" think.
- Brush the entire inner surface with plain or herbed olive oil.
- Add filling below by spooning it in and packing it high so it will fill the upper part of the crust too.
- Cap with top crust.
- Wrap snuggly with foil.
- Allow to "season" overnight in the refrigerator. Flavors will blend and enhance.
- The following day, carefully unwrap and cut into wedges, being careful to preserve the shape and contents.
- Re-wrap and its ready for the picnic!
- scramble one dozen eggs (depends on the size of your boule)
- add shredded cheese as desired
- add seasonings as desired
- in pan, saute diced onions, bell peppers, and garlic. You can also add diced ham , bacon, or sausage if you want a meat.
- stir the egg mixture into the other ingredients and cook til set.