Picnic Bindles

8

This recipe requires a simple yeasted dough. If you’ve never made yeasted bread before, don’t worry. It is easier than making a pie crust, and if you have a stand mixer, comes together quickly, with very little room for mistakes. Using a yeasted dough rather than making hand pies from pie crust results in a sturdy picnic sandwich, similar to a French pan bagnat, that can stand up to juicy fillings without getting soggy or falling apart.

1¼ cups milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2¼teaspoons instant yeast

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons very soft butter or neutral-tasting oil

4 cups flour

1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts

3 canned roasted red peppers, diced

¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

4 ounces feta cheese, cubed or crumbled

1 handful of parsley leaves, chopped

3 green onions, sliced

Pour the milk into a small sauce pan and heat on medium until it just nears a boil. Remove from heat, and allow to cool until it is just warm. 

When the milk has cooled, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and flour to the bowl. Mix on low with the kneading attachment for 8–10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm, but with some give. Form the dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, and cover with a clean dish towel. Set in a warm area and allow to rise until the dough has doubled in bulk. This will take about an hour. 


Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the artichokes, roasted red peppers, olives, feta cheese, parsley and green onions into a large bowl. Give everything a few stirs to mix the ingredients. No need to overmix. We don’t want it to get mushy. 


When the dough has doubled in bulk, heat your oven to 375º. 

Gently remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Flatten the dough with your hands, then roll into roughly an 8-inch-by-16-inch rectangle. Try to avoid kneading or shaping the dough before you start rolling; doing so will just make it more elastic and harder to roll out. 


Cut the dough once down the middle lengthwise, and three times at equal intervals across the width. You should end up with 8 4-inch-by-4-inch squares of dough. 


Place a scoop of filling on top of each dough square, dividing all the filling evenly among the squares. 


Next, grasp two opposite corners of a dough square, and pull them up and over the filling, twisting the ends together at the top. Do the same thing with the other two kitty-corners. You should have a little hobo pack of filling-stuffed dough. Repeat with the other 7 squares.


Bake the bindles for 20–25 minutes, or until the dough is puffed and golden, and any exposed filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before packing them for a picnic. Bindles are best eaten at room temperature.

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