This recipe for my version of a classic Pan Bagnet includes extra ham and veggies as well as the traditional cheese, tomatoes and olives. The stuffed and pressed whole loaf of bread is ideal for sharing at a picnic on a warm summer’s day!
A Summer Garden Picnic
Yes, it may be hard to believe, but the weather today has been hot enough and sunny enough for this beast of a stuffed French sandwich, Pan Bagnat, to be enjoyed at the bottom of the garden, “pique nique” style!
Down we all trotted, with a wicker hamper, well why not, carrying tartan rugs and bottles of home-made elderflower presse, with “picnic” cutlery and plates.
The chickens looked on with interest and then with hope, as the large solo sandwich was unwrapped, and then placed on a wooden board….to be sliced and enjoyed.
Bees buzzed amongst my vivid blue borage flowers, which reminds me, I must collect some for salads and Pimm’s soon…..and the sun actually shone, with hardly any clouds in the sky…..it was an idyllic summer’s day in July.
And yes, we DID have a wee snooze on the tartan rug after our lunch, and it was so relaxing and a rare treat!
About Pan Bagnat
Now this is NOT a traditional recipe for a Pan Bagnat ~ in Nice in the South of France where this recipe originates, they tend to follow the salad Niçoise method and usually always have anchovies and tuna in the sandwich, as well as eggs too.
The literal translation of Pan Bagnat is from the Provençal dialect of Niçard, and means “wet bread”.
It is often misspelled “pain bagnat” which, while correct in French, is not the spelling used in Niçard.
My Recipe for Pan Bagnat
Although I love the original recipe, I also like a few more veggies in mine, as well as a little ham too, so, this is my take on the classic Pan Bagnat with step-by-step photos of how I assembled it.
This wonderfully sumptuous French Picnic Sandwich can be made WELL in advance, in fact the night before is best.
Slice the sandwich before you go on your picnic if you wish, it is easier, or just take a wooden board and knife for slicing on location. You can also cut this into wedges too.
This makes a stunning centre piece summer luncheon dish, all you need is sunshine and wine, oh yes, and good company!
Variations and Leftovers
There weren’t many of us today, but that means more leftovers, and all you have to do is wrap this back up again and pop it into the fridge, it will last another day and although the bread will be “wetter”, it will still be amazingly tasty.
And what if there aren’t enough of you to warrant making a big brute of a sarnie like this? Well, I have made this recipe in INDIVIDUAL Ciabatta rolls, and they were just as delicious as their bigger cousin, and VERY portable for the school or work packed lunch.
Oh yes, vegetarians need not be scared of this bold sandwich, as you can make this “sans ham” for a veggie feast!
This recipe is part of my Meal Plan that I posted on Monday……and as it has a liberal dose of Fresh Basil in it, I am also entering it into my Herbs on Saturday challenge, which is being guest hosted by Vanesther over at Bangers and Mash this month.
If you’d like to see the round-up of last month’s Herbs on Saturday recipes, and there were some WONDERFUL ones, the round-up is posted here: Herbs on Saturday June Round-Up.
That’s it for today, I have CHOCOLATE and CHICKEN as well as CAKES on the blog tomorrow….it’s a BUSY day! Karen.
Step By Step Instructions
You’ll find the full and printable recipe at the end of this post.
- First ~ cut the top of the bread, as seen in the photos, about 2″, and scoop all of the inside of the bread loaf ~ leaving a 1/2″ shell; crumble the bread between your fingers or in a food processor and freeze as breadcrumbs for cooking later.
- Next, brush the inside of the bread shell and underneath the lid with the olive oil.
- Then the fun begins, you start to layer your sandwich ~ now, this is NOT written in stone, but these are the layers I prefer, for texture and flavour mingling! First, you place three of your roasted red peppers in the bottom of the shell, I had to cut mine into halves to fit them in snugly.
- Then add the sliced red onions…..
- ………and then some torn basil leaves
- and then the olives ~ I cut my olives into slices, so they squash down better and don’t fall out when the loaf is cut!
- Next is the Mozzarella cheese, push the slices into the corners as far as you can, tearing some if need be, so they all fit snugly into the bread shell.
- Now we add the first layer of fresh sliced tomatoes, season them well with salt and black pepper too……
- Scatter a few more basil leaves over the tomatoes……
- Next is the ham…
- Now we start to duplicate the ingredients again, adding more roasted red peppers, then more mozzarella cheese and then lastly adding some more slices of fresh tomatoes, not forgetting to add seasoning.
- Finally, wrap the whole picnic loaf in cling film………
- and sit something VERY heavy on top, I used a tin of Confit D’Canard! Leave it like this for at least 2 hours, it is better overnight actually.
- Slice the sandwich before you go on your picnic if you wish, it is easier, or just take a wooden board and knife for slicing on location. You can also cut this into wedges too
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Pan Bagnat Recipe
Pan Bagnat ~ French Picnic Sandwich
|Prep time||24 hours|
|Meal type||Bread, Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish, Snack|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
|Occasion||Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Easter|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 1 large Boule ~ a round loaf of bread, as seen in photos
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 6 Roasted Red Peppers from a jar
- 1/2 Red Onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- Fresh basil leaves
- Green Olives, about 2 dozen
- 2 x (125g) balls of Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
- 3 fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 slices of cooked Ham, (I prefer air dried ham, but it makes the loaf difficult to cut)
- Salt and pepper
You can also wrap this loaf in greaseproof paper and then tie it up with string for a very arty culinary way of presentation!
I am also linking this up to BYOB, a monthly blog challenge hosted by:
Heather from GirliChef, Michelle from Delectable Musings and Connie from My Discovery of Bread
What is your favourite sandwich?
Do you ever have picnics in your garden?
Jen Price says
Looking at that has made me so hungry!
Me too now Jen as it has all gone now! 🙂
Maria @ Feisty Tapas says
Ah that brings back memories, I used to order one of these for my birthday parties every year from 15 to something like 22 in Spain. Good thing of summer birthdays. Right, I need to either find out whether you live close to me or get you to start a catering business and hire you (ok, I may have to win the lottery too)
Glad this brought back memories Maria, and what a GREAT idea for a birthday party too. You can’t win the lottery cos’ I want to win! 🙂 THANKS for your lovely comments, Karen
Now that is a fantastic idea! I must try that on one of our camper outings. I wonder if Sainsburys do a loaf similar?
Yes, Sainsburys DO offer a French Style Boule loaf, and if not, use a bloomer maybe for a longer sandwich?
Jude A Trifle Rushed says
How scrummy, I will make it for my husband if he’s going on any day sails or going on a clam dig this summer!
Thanks Jude, I LOVE this big butty! I am hoping for a sunny 14th July too and some fireworks on the beach at Royan!
That looks just perfect for picnics. We often eat in our garden, some summer evenings are too lovely to sit inside… Although not at the moment… 😀
Thanks Hannah! I LOVE picnics at the bottom of the garden! 🙂
Oh Karen you never cease to amaze me! I love this recipe and the step by step photos are very helpful. I can’t wait to try it out myself. It looks so tasty and visually stunning. I’m going to make individual rolls for my lunch box and be the envy of everyone at the lunch table 😉
That is what I want Ros! I want YOU to be the envy of the lunch box crowd at work! 🙂 This works VERY well with small ciabatta rolls….
rita cooks italian says
It’s a great picnic treat, I love sandwiches and the combination of mozzarella and tomatoes is one of my fauvorite. I just need to find the French Style Boule loaf in Sainsburys like you suggested…
Thanks Rita, and you can get Boule style bread in MOST of the supermarkets! I have seen them in Waitrose, Sainsburys and Morrisons too!
Sandi Crabtree says
Love the step by step pictures. Going to make this for our guests when they want a picnic lunch in our gardens. This is a great blog, thank you!
Thanks so much Sandi! I am glad that the step by step photos help, it is easy but nice to see what goes where and when!
Becs @ Lay the table says
This looks absolutely stunning! Mr Ltt looked over at my computer screen and demanded that I make it!
THANKS! It is just something a little different!
Javelin Warrior says
I’m such a fan of bread and cheese it should be no surprise that I’m drooling over this post! Love this, Karen and I’m fascinated by how you made it… I’m featuring this in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and it’s always fun to be following along with your creations…
Thanks so much! Another FABULOUS Friday for me as I have made your TOP DRAWER list on Food Fetish Friday, which is becoming a cult now…..THANKS once again for adding my Pan Bagnat, and as always, I am thrilled to have it added, so no, there are no problems with adding it! Karen
Heather @girlichef says
Oh my GOODNESS!! This is so absolutely gorgeous. I want to steal away under a shady tree with a blanket, a book, a bottle of wine, and this beauty. What a lovely day that would be! I hope you’ll drop by and share it w/ BYOB – Bake Your Own Bread (includes things made w/ bread) this month! (http://www.girlichef.com/2012/07/byob-bake-your-own-bread-july-12-some.html)
Thanks Heather and welcome to my new blog on WP too! Thanks for the link, I will be over as soon as I have replied to your comments….THANKS for your lovely comments!v 🙂 Karen
Heather @girlichef says
Thanks Karen – your new space is so beautiful! 🙂 And thanks for sharing this lovely creation!
Thanks Heather! 🙂
Michelle K. says
This sandwich style is my husband’s favorite! I really love your choice of ingredients with savory and salty and herbs and creamy mozzarella, Mmmmm. It all looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Michelle! The combination of ingredients did work very well and the sandwich was enjoyed very much too! Karen
Karen, what a deliciously looking bread. What time does the picnic starts? We’ll be there at the bottom of the garden. Your photos of the step-by-step are great.
Thanks Connie! The picnic starts as soon as you arrive! I thought the step-by-step photos might be handy to have, and they do work well in the recipe I think! Karen
Mich - Piece of Cake says
Hi Karen, this looks absolutely stunning. Now I want to run off and buy some Ciabatta rolls, or better still make my own and transform them into your stunning sandwich. Thanks for sharing this.
I am so glad you like this Mich! It is my favourite sandwich I think! Karen
Michelle K. says
I had to re-visit and say this inspirational post was used by my family for our own pan bagnat for Sunday dinner. Thank you again for sharing this on BYOB!
Fiona Matters says
Gosh this looks amazing. So much so that my boyfriend insisted I explained what I was looking at! I love this idea and may have to try it out sometime.
I made this for the lake yesterday to take on the boat, was very good, my bread got a little soggy. I made it the night before, maybe next time I will try only a few hours.
cooking rookie says
This is just gorgeous! I fell in love with this sandwich the first time I saw it on RecipeNewZ. And last week I made it for a picnic and it was wonderful! It even inspired me to bake a home made loaf especially for this sandwich :-). I used egg and tuna, the more “traditional” version that you described. But the possibilities are endless, and I am certainly going to make more variations :-). Thank you so much for this beautiful recipe!
Thanks so much for your lovely comments and I am so pleased that you were inspired to make it! GREAT combo as well, as egg and tuna! Karen
Made this for my daughter’s 1st birthday picnic, and everyone RAVED about it! Our local bakery makes a long, flat rectangular bread, so slicing was a breeze and I didn’t have to scoop it out. This is definitely a keeper, will be making this for years to come. thanks for sharing!
I am SO pleased Suzanne, thanks for letting me know! It is such a great recipe, we love it! Karen
Allie M. says
Hi, I just came across your website as I was searching for the perfect picnic sandwich. This looks PERFECT! I’m excited to try it out. If I’m making it the night before, do I have to place the sandwich in the refrigerator overnight? My concern is, since it’s wrapped in plastic wrap, keeping it in the refrigerator will cause some moisture and make the sandwich soggy. Thanks!
ashley fumiko dominguez says
Do you put it in the fridge while its being weighed down overnight or leave it out? thanks!
Karen Burns-Booth says
It’s best in the fridge or somewhere cool!
ashley fumiko dominguez says
Thank you! I am making this Saturday for my Fiance’s boy’s paintball outing!
I found this post a few years ago and made this sandwich a couple of times. Yesterday, I suddenly remembered how delicious it was and decided to make it for a picnic we had in a meadow today. My picky niece surprised me when she commented on how good and flavorful it was.
Karen Burns-Booth says
I’m so pleased you like this sandwich – it’s a favourite in our household too! Karen
anthony Klein says
This is a wonderful sandwich Meal in a Deal~! I generally make an excellent Tapenade with my Olives for the Olive Layer… Kalamata Olives, and sometimes a combination of Kalamata and Large Green Olives… (On occasion will add a Gremolata layer as well) The Marinated and Roasted or Sautéed Peppers are The Linchpin of A Superior Pan Bagnat, so do not skimp on the peppers. The Quality of the Boule, The Meat and Cheese Buffalo Mozzarella is my choice is paramount. Fresh is The other Magic in This Sandwich… Fresh Prepared just now and assembled, then eaten that day~!
Karen Burns-Booth says
I love these types of sandwiches, and living in France as I do now,we have access to great bread, charcuterie and cheese of course! Karen