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Lately, we’ve been crazy over DONQ BOULANGERIE’s bread in basement 2 of Takashimaya.  This Japanese bakery which has outlets worldwide, sells really delicious  breads & pastries. My eldest daughter is crazy over a crispy baguette spread with prawn roe and I especially love their rustic Spinach & Cheese Bread and Spinach & Sausage bread. These breads don’t come cheap though. At $2 plus to almost $4 per piece, it’s almost the cost of a decent meal at a hawker center.

I have yet to make spinach bread so this afternoon I did some research online. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any spinach recipe close to those being sold at Donq Bouleangerie but found this one which seems good and easy enough for me to tackle,  also because I have all the ingredients that’s required for this bread at home.

On the World’s Healthiest Foods’ webpage, spinach comes out at the top of their ranking list for nutrient richness for vegetables. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection. So for adults and kids who don’t like to eat spinach (my eldest gal is one of them), this bread is most suitable as you can’t really taste the spinach in the baked bread. It’s indeed a good way to include this nutritious vegetable in their diet.

SPINACH & CHEDDAR LOAF

Ingredients

(A)
1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
120gm fresh young spinach leaves, washed & drained thoroughly

(B)
450gm bread flour
1-1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon dry yeast

(C)
1 egg
125ml water

(D)
50gm shredded cheddar cheese

(E) – optional
80 gm sausages, cut into small pieces
OR
2 tablespoon pine nuts or chopped walnuts

Method

1)    Heat the olive oil, add the chopped onions and fry until fragrant. Add the spinach leaves and fry till tender. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
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2)    Put all the ingredients in (B) into a mixer with a dough hook and mix well (I use a Kenwood Major).
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3)    Add (C) and process well (the dough will be lumpy at this stage).
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4)    Add the fried spinach and cheddar cheese and process at Speed 4 and gradually increase to Speed 6 until dough becomes elastic (about 10 mins).
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5)    Add (E) – omit this if you’re not adding sausages or nuts. Continue to process until dough is well combined.
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6)    Remove the bowl from the mixer and gather the dough by hand into a ball. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and leave to proof in a warm place for 50mins until double in size.
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7)    After that, remove the dough and knead it on a floured surface into a round mould. Divide it into 4 equal portions and knead each portion into a ball. Leave on a tray lined with parchment to proof for another 15 mins.
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8)   With a rolling pin, flatten and roll each ball to about 10cm long, then roll it up like a swiss roll by hand and tuck in both ends to resemble a rectangle. Put two rolls each into a loaf pan and leave to proof for another 40 mins.

Flatten each ball, roll each one up like a swiss roll and tuck in both ends to resemble a rectangle.

Flatten each ball, roll each one up like a swiss roll and tuck in both ends to resemble a rectangle.

Place two balls each in a loaf tin and leave in a warm place for another 40 mins until double in size

Place two balls each in a loaf tin and leave in a warm place for another 40 mins until double in size

9) Preheat oven to 180C and bake for 35 mins until golden brown.

10) Cool the bread on a wire rack.
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11) Slice and eat at it plain or spread some butter or sundried tomato pesto on it and enjoy with your favourite cup of beverage.

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The spinach gives a nice green tint to this savoury bread. As the cheddar is salty, it is not advisable to add more salt than required.

For vege lovers, it will make a great sandwich with crispy greens in between two slices :D For vege lovers, it will make a great sandwich with crispy greens in between two slices :D[/caption]

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