Pan agli Spinaci: Spinach Bread (makes 1 round loaf or 12-14 rolls)
Courtesy of: The Italian Baker
Originally from February 2013 on my old blog
Sorry I don’t have a picture for this one! This was back when I was only 13 and didn’t take many photos of my food.
I’ve made this recipe multiple times, and I love it. It always turns out right. This picture isn’t mine, but it ends up looking just like it: a wonderful green-ish color. It is soft and has a nice crumb. It can easily be doubled, tripled, whatever.
~2 cloves garlic, minced
~Scant 2 tablespoons olive oil
~2 10-oz packages frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, but liquid reserved
~¾ cup reserved spinach liquid
~2 ½ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
~¼ teaspoon sugar
~¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional; I didn’t have it on me so I skipped it)
~3 ¾ cups (preferably unbleached) all-purpose flour
~2 ½ teaspoons salt
Lightly saute the garlic in the olive oil and cool to room temperature. Warm up ¼ cup of the reserved spinach liquid to 105 to 115 F (I don’t have a fancy thermometer for that, so I just guessed. Warm it up in a saucepan. I didn’t know the exact temperature and my bread always turned out fine).
Stir the yeast and sugar into the warmed spinach liquid in a large bowl. Let stand until foamy; about 10 minutes. Add the remaining spinach liquid, (the part you didn’t warm up) the sauteed garlic with the oil, the spinach, and the nutmeg, (if using) and stir thoroughly. Mix the flour and salt in a separate bowl and add to the spinach mixture. Knead on a floured surface, sprinkling with additional flour to absorb the moisture from the spinach, until the dough is well marbled, soft, and velvety, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Pace the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.
The dough will be even wetter after rising, because the spinach will have exuded more liquid. Pour the dough onto a floured work surface and flour the top of the dough. Don’t punch it down or try to knead it. Shape into a round loaf or rolls the size of a fat lemon and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 425 F. Slash a big V on top of the loaf with a razor, as in the picture above (or sharp knife, which I used). bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 F and bake the rolls for 20 minutes for rolls or 30 to 35 minutes for one large loaf. Cool completely on a rack (or on the counter if you don’t have one, which is what I did).