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Spinach and Onion Braided Bread

Spinach Onion Braided Loaf
This savory braid offers all the delights of bubbly spinach dip in a lovely, woven bread package. A final dusting of Gruyère helps drive home the cheesy decadence.
Yield 1 (16-inch) loaf
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Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups (531 to 562g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) water
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120g) whole milk
  • 1 large (50g) egg (room temperature)
  • 1 large (19g) egg yolk (room temperature)

Egg Wash

  • 1 large (50g) egg
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) water

Spinach and Onion Filling

  • 1 teaspoon (5g) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (65g) chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove (5g) garlic, minced
  • 9 ounces (255g) fresh spinach, chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup (57g) freshly grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup (57g) freshly grated sharp white Cheddar cheese

Topping

  • 1/2 cup (57g) freshly grated Gruyère cheese

Instructions

  • Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups (250g) flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat water, butter, and milk over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add hot butter mixture to flour mixture; using the paddle attachment, beat at medium-low speed until combined and cooled slightly, about 2 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk, and beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2¼ cups (281g) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, about 12 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining ¼ cup (31g) flour, 1 tablespoon (8g) at a time, if dough is too sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Make Spinach & Onion Filling (makes about 2 cups): In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Add spinach, salt, black pepper, dry mustard, paprika, and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Stir in cheeses. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
  • Shape and fill bread: Punch down dough, and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Roll into a 16×12-inch oval. Using a small knife or bench scraper, score (or mark) a 13×4½-inch rectangle in center of dough, leaving a 1½-inch border on short sides and a 3¾-inch border on long sides. Spread Spinach and Onion Filling in rectangle. Cut 1-inch-wide strips along each side of filling. At top and bottom, trim ends to width of filling, and fold over filling. Discard scraps. Starting on left side, stretch and then fold top strip over filling, ending just below opposite top strip. Repeat with top strip on right side. Continue pattern, alternating left and right, until you reach end. Tuck and pinch last strip. (If dough is not sticking to itself, dab with a little water to help it seal.) Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 10 minutes.
  • Make egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Brush egg wash on top and sides of loaf.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top of loaf, and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes more. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes

Recipe featured in Bake From Scratch magazine.

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Review & Comments

shelley roose | Reply

Can I refrigerate this dough and assemble it the next morning? Thanks, Shelley

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Shelley – Yes. In step 4 after placing dough in bowl and covering, place in the refrigerator overnight (this will be the first/bulk rise). Let covered dough sit on the counter while preheating the oven and preparing the filling (steps 5 & 6) – you’ll want it warm enough to roll out without tearing or snapping back.
Happy baking!

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