Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Green Bread (Spinach Bread)

spinach bread

spinach bread

I made this bread because I wanted green colored bread. The spinach adds little to it other than color. You do get a very subtle spinach flavor, though. To make it I simply added pureed spinach to a basic Italian bread recipe substituting some of the water in the recipe with the puree. I was very pleased with the outcome.

I began with a pot of boiling water. In it I blanched one bunch of spinach for a couple of minutes and then I shocked it in an ice water bath. I did this to preserve the color. When the spinach was cooled I put it in a good blender with 1/2 cup of water and pureed it until it was smooth. By blender did a great job. If yours is weaker you may have to strain the puree to get out the larger pieces of spinach.

In a mixing bowl I mixed 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tsp yeast. to this I added about 1 cup of the spinach puree, 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp. of olive oil. I mixed this well and then began adding bread flower. Enough to form a soft dough. About 2.5 cups. The dough had a beautiful bright green color.

 If you are a reader of my blog you know I don't knead my Italian bread. I like the long rise and fold method. I covered the dough and let it rise for 2.5 hours. I then folded it over itself to redistribute the yeast, gluten, and air. Then every hour I folded it over itself. I did this 3 times. After the final fold I let the dough rise again until doubled in size. I then turned it out onto a lightly floured counter, divided it in half and formed two long loafs.

I placed the loafs on a lightly greased baking sheet and let them rise until the were double in size. I baked then in a 425°F oven (with a pan of hot water placed at the bottom) and baked them for about 25 minutes.

The loafs tasted good and I think I'll make green garlic bread with them the next time my family does Italian for dinner.

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