Pan Bagnat

Posted By Kerri

After the success of the recent shooter’s sandwich, Stephen and I began to think of other ways to pimp the humble sandwich. This has been on my list of things to “cook” for a long time and seemed the obvious choice. What wasn’t so obvious was just how I was going to get through the whole thing on my own since Stephen is still experimenting with a wheat-free diet. The first cricket game of the season was the perfect opportunity since I knew there would be plenty of volunteers to help me out.

I bought the bread and fillings on Friday and intended to make it that afternoon and leave it in the fridge overnight but, worrying about the sog-factor, I assembled it quickly on Saturday morning instead. This meant the bread wasn’t quite as fresh as it could have been and I should have removed more of the dough from the inside but otherwise it was a huge success.

The original pan bagnat uses a salad nicoise filling but I opted for something more Mediterranean, stuffing as much as I could into the hollowed out sourdough loaf. It’s difficult to give exact quantities because that will depend so much on the size of your loaf and how much of the inside you remove. To give you a rough idea, there were almost two balls of mozarella in here and a packet and a half of salami.

So, start by slicing off the top of your loaf and removing the insides. Drizzle the loaf with olive oil, rub a garlic clove all over the exposed dough and season with salt and pepper. Then start adding your fillings. I started with a layer of salami and finished with some lettuce so the bread didn’t get too soggy but how you do it is really up to you. Aside from the salami and lettuce, I also added the mozarella, some leftover barbecued asparagus and spring onions, some Peppadew peppers, some marinated artichokes and a few olives. Season the layers as you go, put the lid back on, wrap in foil and squash the whole thing together.

Since we had to leave early, I wedged this at the bottom of our coolbag and put everything else on top. We ate it about four hours later which seemed about the right amount of time for the flavours to mingle and combine. Sunshine, a brilliant sandwich and a glass of Pimm’s in Greenwich park was a pretty good way to toast the start of the summer.

May 22nd, 2010

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