Saturday, February 6, 2010

Spinach Feta Bread

Doesn't that just make your mouth water? I knew the moment I saw this recipe I had to make it. We had this last night with a Greek Chicken Salad (posted below) and it did not disappoint! It makes 2 loaves and we put one in the freezer for later. You have to do a little part the night before, so plan accordingly. Also, it says to mix everything with a wooden spoon and then your hands - which I did. However, if I make this again I plan on being lazy and using my Bosch, so if you make use of modern technology the first time, I will not think any less of you. I'm sure it will still be great. Enjoy!

Spinach Feta Bread

Night before:

3/4 c. bread flour
1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/4 tsp. instant yeast


2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/4 c. lukeward water
1/2 c. dark rye flour
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. bread flour
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Night before: combine and beat until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 12-16 hours.

Next day: Prep all ingredients. Add a little oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Add chopped spinach and saute until cooked, about 2 min. Pour onto paper towels and squeeze out any remaining liquid, then set aside.

Combine "night before" mixture and the water. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add in the rye flour and whole wheat flour, mixing until smooth. Add in the salt and instant yeast and stir until well blended. Allow mixture to sit uncovered for 10 minutes.

Next, start to add in the bread flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until the mixture becomes hard to mix. Pour out the dough onto a floured surface and begin to knead in the rest of the flour. Use just enough flour until the dough is slightly sticky. Knead for 8-10 minutes. (This is when I wished I had used my machine). Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Flatten a little and add in the cooked spinach and feta. Knead until fully incorporated into the dough. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn over until coated on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 2 hours or until double in bulk.

Cut in half. Shape into 2 round loaves and place on a piece of parchment paper covered in cornmeal. Sprinkle the loaves with a little whole wheat flour. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour. About 45 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a baking stone inside the oven. If using a cookie sheet, don't heat the cookie sheet in the oven before hand. Place a cast iron skillet on the bottom of the oven, to create steam.

Score the tops of the loaves. Place the loaves into the oven. Add a cup of boiling water into the skillet and close the door. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until when tapped on, the loaf sounds hollow.

Note: I just used a cookie sheet, so when I formed the loaves I put them straight on the cookie sheet (not parchment paper) and then I just used an 8x8 pan with water to create steam, not a "cast iron skillet", just so you know.

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