Spring Picnic Bread

Picnic season is finally upon us and we have been kicking it off with two new favorite things. The first one is a bike and the other is a bread.
We have been dreaming of a Danish cargo bike for years and years, and last month we finally splurged on this one. It’s the perfect vehicle for us because we can fit all three kids in it with seatbelts and all. It’s ideal to bring home heavy grocery bags with. And it’s environmentally friendly. All practicalities aside, it is also so much fun to ride around with and we are roaming from playground to picnic spots without a hitch. Just packing a few blankets, a big smoothie, a rhubarb compote and this beauty of a bread.
We created this recipe for all type of picnic situations. We wanted something spring-y and savory that tasted awesome and could manage a bumpy bike ride. It’s basically like a savory muffin that we bake in a sheet pan. It serves many, is easy to make, super moist and flavorful and you can make lots of variations on it (although I love the look of thinly shaved asparagus on top).
Needless to say, this is also ideal for a brunch or or other weekend gatherings.
Just like a foccacia, the bread acts as a base and you can play around with all kind of toppings. Here are a few variations:
• Swap some of the potatoes in the bread with grated carrots, parsnip or swede.
• A teaspoon of mustard in the batter adds some complexity to the flavor.
• Any fresh herbs can be mixed into the batter.
• Olives or capers could be good on top. Spinach could also be used instead of asparagus.
• You can use a dairy free yogurt instead of buttermilk and leave out the feta cheese if you prefer it dairy free.
• We haven’t tried a vegan version but replacing the eggs with chia eggs (1 egg = 1 tablespoons chia seed + 3 tablespoons water) has worked for us on similar recipes.
Asparagus & Potato Picnic Bread
Serves 12
Dry Ingredients
100 g / 1 cup oat flour (or the same amount rolled oats, blitzed into flour in a food processor)
100 g / 3/4 cup rice flour (or buckwheat flour or spelt flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt flakes
Wet Ingredients
3 free-range eggs
125 ml / 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, at room temperature

125 ml / 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk (or yogurt or plant-based yogurt)
1-2 spring onions
3-4 potatoes (2 cups / 250 g grated)
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
100 g feta cheese

3 raw asparagus
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp quality olive oil
2 tsp honey
a handful chive

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F bake mode and grease a 30 x 22 cm / 12 x 9 inch tray or line it with parchment paper.
Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Make a well in the centre and set aside while preparing the wet ingredients.
Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, then add oil and buttermilk. Finely chop the onion. Peel the potatoes, grate them coarsely and add them to the wet mixture along with the onion and parsley. Crumble in half of the feta cheese. Give it a good stir and then pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the flours. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine the batter and then pour it onto the tray.
Use a peeler to shave the asparagus into thin ribbons and spread them out over the batter. Crumble the remaining feta cheese on top. Combine pumpkin seeds, oil and honey and sprinkle them on top as well, along with the chive.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely. Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container and it will keep for a few days.
Great to bring on a picnic and serve with a tangy rhubarb compote or chutney.


  • Hi there, this looks great but, I've not got any potatoes in the house - do you think I could sub grated sweet potato instead?
  • Julie
    Made with a combo of oat and garbanzo flours; green garlic; sweet and red potatoes; yogurt; spinach and chervil; and an extra spoonful of sourdough starter for tang. I know it sounds waay off of the recipe, but oh my is this good and I would not have made this delight without this post - albeit subbed a bunch with what I have it seems like a hugely forgiving and wonderful "bread." I forgot the asparagus, but not the feta and pumpkin seed. My dinner date, just cancelled and it is their loss! Thank you for this amazing creation
  • Roslyn
    This was SO good! No where near 12 servings in our house though! ;) I used a seeet potato, rosemary & zucchini strips for on top. We really loved it & I’ll make it again for sure! Thank you for a great recipe!
  • Aishwarya Subramania
    Amazingly delish!!
  • Lou
    I just made this and it turned out amazing - so much so that I've just eaten half the bread in one sitting...before it even cooled! For veggies, I used courgette/zucchini ribbons instead of asparagus and put some spinach and green olives on there too. If you're worried about leaving out the feta - don't be. I didn't add any and it came out divine. However, I would recommend adding some more herbs for a fuller flavour profile. I added some dried parsley in addition to the fresh, some fresh coriander/cilantro, and some dried dill, thyme, italian mixed herbs. I also added some asafoetida (a very small amount, just a pinch or two), and about 1/2 tsp dijon mustard. I'm already looking forward to making another batch!
    • Lou
      Oh, I also used about 1/2 cup potato and 1 1/2 cups swede to lower the GI. Would totally recommend it. :)
  • Jen
    Such an imaginative recipe. I made this last night and it looked exactly like yours...beautiful. I found it a little dry though and kind of lacking in flavor despite the variety of veggies. I’ll try it again subbing almond flour, I think. I think it might be tasty with olives and red onion as well. Truly unique.
  • Tamara
    I've made this twice now, both times using leftover beet pulp from juicing in place of the potatoes and its' so good! This is going to be one of my go to recipes from now on. Thank you!
  • Jennifer
    This is a fabulous recipe, so tasty and looks very appetising. I can imagine it becoming a picnic favourite and I am keen to try some of the variations too. My question is, how successfully does the bread freeze? Thanks for a super recipe. Jennifer. Glastonbury Somerset.
  • Vera from Lisbon
    Hello Luise and David! I've tried the recipe and it turn out a bit wet, meaning more quiche-like than bread.:( Probably because I've added a fourth egg. The batter was looking pretty dry and I was afraid not to be able to involve everything... I have also went for the carrot version instead of potato, maybe it also added to it. Next time I will try not to forget to go with the mustard as well! Thanks a lot and have a great week! :) Vera
  • This recipe looks divine! Do you think you could use almond flour in place of the rice flour? I want to make this tonight and I don't have any rice, buckwheat or spelt flour but I do have almond flour. Any suggestions for other substitutions? Thank you!
  • I made an egg-free version - with chia-eggs - of this bread last weekend and it turned out so good! Definitely am going to make it more often and try some different flavors too!
  • Hi! Is the buttermilk add an important tang to the flavor balance? Eggs and dairy in the same dish can be tough for me, so I’m strategizing a replacement for the buttermilk and cheese. Thanks!!!
    • Risa
      The coconut yogurt worked well and it tasted soooo good :)
  • Samantha Galea
    This. Is. Amazing. I cut out the feta and used coconut yoghurt and also halved the recipe, and I thought maybe it would be a bit bland without the feta - but I WAS SO WRONG!! Everyone has to try this recipe. I love your guys's recipes sooo much and love reading your little anecdotes. Your cargo bike looks so lovely, like a family dream!
    • AMAZING! Thank you! I’ll report back tomorrow with my results :)
  • Joanell
    This was delicious. I added chopped sundried tomatoes to the batter as well as some kalamata olives. And a generous helping of grated parmesan on top ten minutes before taking it out of the over. I will definitely make this again! ....and so easy to make your own oat flour with rolled oats in the blender....
  • Luisa
    I just made this. It was delicious and turned out perfectly! I used rolled oats (blitzed in food processor) and chickpea flour (as this was all I had on hand). I topped it with shredded brussels sprouts instead of asparagus. Thank you for this versatile recipe!
  • Selina
    I didn't squeeze the water out and it came out great. Sweet potato sounds like a great idea!
  • Anja
    It looks wonderful! If I want to make it vegan - do you think chia seeds would work instead of eggs? And what substitute would you recommend for the feta cheese? Kind regards Anja
    • Aishwarya Subramania
      I used ground flax instead of eggs and it came out well.
  • Amy
    Could the potatoes be omitted or substituted? Thank you!
    • Tamara
      Hey, I subbed beets for the potatoes when I made it and it was delicious. I bet carrots would be good too.
  • Ya-Ling Huang
    Just wondering where you get that baking sheet. It looks like a stainless steel pan. I have been looking for one but never seen one like the one in your picture. It looks quite thick.
  • Riki
    This looks beautiful. Some questions: Do you squeeze the liquid out of the grated potatoes before adding them? Do you think potatoes could be replaced by sweet potatoes? Would sweet potato or carrot ribbons work instead of asparagus?
  • iris
    It looks so tasty! I’ve switched to a whole new lifestyle lately, including a healthy diet. Also, I’ve started running on a regular basis with SportMe half marathon app, which calculates pace, elevation, calories and time plus distance. Love how I feel ever since.
  • Natasha Foin
    Sounds like a great recipe ! I don’t spose you have any suggestion for a egg replacement?
  • Martha
    Several years ago I made your recipe for Italyan cheesecake. It was a marscapone cheese mixture with a granola type crumb and fresh fruit. I Served it in small jars. It was delicious a a bit hit at my party. But I cannot locate it now. Please could you please, please post it again? I have summer parties coming up soon and it would be the perfect dessert.
    • Samantha Galea
      Hi Martha, is this what you mean? :) https://www.cooked.com/uk/David-Frenkiel/Hardie-Grant-Books/Green-Kitchen-At-Home/Desserts/Italian-cheesecake-jars-recipe
      • Martha
        Yes! Yes, this is the recipe! Simple and delicious Many thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to look this ip for me.
  • Emma
    Oh this is so beautiful! Definitely taking this to our next picnic! <3
  • WOW!! Very creative! Can’t wait to surprise my wife with this recipe. My latest post: https://veeba.in/recipes/
  • Nerida
    Looks beautiful! Any other flours you would recommend as a substitute for oat flour? I'm in Melbourne, and it can be a bit expensive here. Thanks!
    • I simply use rolled oats that I mix in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. Super simple and cheap. You can also replace it with almond flour. /David
      • Nerida
        Thanks David! Will give it a go!
  • Jessie
    This looks like the perfect thing for my 1 year olds lunch box. You've done it again! Contents of both my kids lunch boxes (and ours) are ususally 98% full with your recipes. I think I cook something of yours every day :-)
  • What a beautiful bike! It was probably worth the splurge, I'm sure of it! I really miss having picnics in a park over the weekends, by the poolside on a sunny day, or even just in my backyard when I want to enjoy some fresh air. Luckily, the weather here in California has been a LOT more forgiving in terms of crazy heat and sunshine! I cannot wait to bake something amazing for my next picnic--this bread looks absolutely perfect for any spring or summer day!
  • Biking and picnicking, especially with this recipe, sound perfect! I actually need to get out and do it more this spring. ❤️ Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog http://charmainenyw.com

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