Freshness Goodness

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Lis from La Mia Cucina and Ivone from Cream Puffs in Venice are hosting a lovely event called La Festa al Fresco. For this event, you are required to make something from fresh local produce. And I have chosen some lovely English spinach and feta cheese from my local market and turned them into wholesome savory bread to participate.

The idea of for this bread comes from the regular spinach and feta (or ricotta) fillo pastry which is a popular vegetarian option in casual café or bakery here in Melbourne. Frankly, I have hardly been impressed by these (except for the thin crust variety in A1 Bakery in Brunswick). I doubt that these roll were made with much care and from fresh ingredients. In fact, they taste like defrosted pastries to me. But the thought of spinach and feta is so lovely that I decide to make my own version.

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Since I want something more substantial, I decide to go for bread. The dough recipe is a long-time favorite of mine, which produces lovely soft crumbs. The filling is kind of standard with spinach and feta, but it is made from fresh ingredients! I also add some zesty note by using lemon juice and zest.

And yes, this spinach and feta loaf tastes really good. Being a `pull-apart´ loaf, it is best to shared around. And I do just that! I share around with some friends and they all love it. I guess it doesn´t take much to convert someone into a fresher diet, especially when the results are always tastier.

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Zesty Spinach and Feta Bread
Inspired by different sources

Dough

¾ cup water
45gram butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp sugar
1¼ tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
3 cups unbleached plain flour
Filling
1 bunch fresh English spinach, leaves picked and washed thoroughly
100g feta cheese, crumbled
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 or 2 squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
Seasoning, to taste

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Method
1. Knead together water, butter, sugar, salt, yeast and 3 cups flour until the dough is smooth and soft. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise until doubled.
2. Filling: blanch the spinach leaves in hot water briefly. Drain and set aside to cool. Roughly chop then mix with the crumble feta cheese. Add in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Check the seasoning and adjust to your liking.
3. Preheat oven to 350F (170C).
4. Gently lift the dough out of the bowl. Divide into 4 portions. Deflate each portion lightly into a rectangular, add the filling and roll up. Cut into two pieces. Repeat with the remaining dough. (You should have 8 halves in total).
5. Arrange the dough, cut side up, into a loaf pan (8 ½ x 4 ½ inch). Proof for another 30-40 mins until the bread rises just above the pan. Bake in the oven until golden and done, about 35-40 mins.

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62 Responses to Freshness Goodness

  1. Lis says:

    Oh wow, Anh! What an outstanding bread – thank you so much for bringing it to the Festa!!

  2. Lydia says:

    I love pull-apart bread, and this sounds delicious. Thanks, Anh!

  3. veron says:

    Oh my goodness, how scrumptious can this be. I can just imagine myself pulling a piece from the whole thing.

  4. Kalyn says:

    Your posts just keep getting better and better!

  5. Mishmash ! says:

    I can almost smell it :)

  6. Cynthia says:

    This is a nice twist to the phyllo-stuffed pastry. Looks great, Anh.

  7. Anh says:

    Lis, thanks for organising yet another amazing event!

  8. burcu says:

    I just have to try this; dough filled with spinach and feta is simply irresistible. Beautiful pictures and great looking bread!

  9. Elle says:

    what a fantastic looking bread! Soft and pull apart, plus love the spinach and cheese. Mmmmm.

  10. Donna says:

    Those rolls look divine! But is tomato paste actually part of the recipe? I don’t see it in the list of ingredients and it seems an unusual addition.

  11. Anh says:

    Burcu, yes, spinach and feta are a perfect pair!

  12. Emilie says:

    The bread looks so delicious-and so easy! It’s nice to see recipes that are easy to prepare, and don’t have a lot of ingredients.

  13. Meeta says:

    Simply outrageous! I love the fact that one can pull apart the bread. Feta and spinach are two of my fave combos. Bookmarked!

  14. Lucy says:

    Gorgeous bread for a gorgeous party!

  15. Sophie says:

    That looks great Anh – you can tell that this is a dish cooked by one of those daring bakers!

  16. Amanda at Little Foodies says:

    Beautiful! Love the fact it’s pull apart bread and love the flavours.

  17. Happy Homebaker says:

    Oh, what a lovely bread! It looks sooo delicious!

  18. Ivonne says:

    Hey Anh,

  19. Truffle says:

    I know I would just love this. You are such a brilliant baker. Your kitchen must smell heavenly.

  20. Lia says:

    this is wonderful bread i ever seen, congrats anh u did the best, really looks very delicous, i wonder how i could baked also 😀

  21. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Now that looks wonderful! So colorful and delicious!

  22. lynn says:

    Anh, your food and your pictures are so beautiful! My daughter would love this as she adores feta cheese.

  23. Nora B. says:

    Anh, that looks so irresistable. No wonder your friends all loved it. I’m sure that I would have polished that off in no time. I’m definitetly making these. I find the cafe ones too greasy. Thanks for the recipe.

  24. Anh says:

    Emilie, I whipped uo this bread after work while preparing dinner. It’s really straightforward and alsmot fool proof!

  25. eatme_delicious says:

    Wow this looks SO good! Being a vegetarian, I have eaten many of those spinach and feta pastry type things and have gotten kind of sick of them. But I think I might just have to try this bread! And I love pull apart breads like that too. Excellent creation! :)

  26. East Meets West Kitchen says:

    I love spinach and feta cheese and can’t wait to try this pull-apart bread!

  27. neil says:

    You’re dead right about the pastries, almost impossible to find a good one, so I’ll just join the queue salivating over your fantastic interpretation.

  28. Nora B. says:

    I will, I will! I always have feta and spinach (frozen) around. But you say that I can get feta at the deli counter, so I’ll grab some next time I’m grocery shopping.

  29. ilingc says:

    omg anh, your bread looks superb! It beats the bakers delight stuff anyday!

  30. Patricia Scarpin says:

    This looks phenomenal, Anh – your breads always amaze me, and this is no exception!

  31. joey says:

    Oh what delicious looking bread! I can almost smell it…sniff, sniff :) Love the combination or spinach and feta…and you are right, the dough looks remarkably soft!

  32. sunita says:

    The bread looks gorgeous…absolutely lovely.

  33. Anne says:

    This looks so wonderful and very different. Now, I have a long list of I-have-to-do-this from your blog :)

  34. Deborah says:

    This looks wonderful!

  35. Belinda says:

    Oh my goodness, Anh…this bread is fabulous. I absolutely love the spinach…both a pretty and healthy addition to your beautiful bread. Oh, how I wish I could pull a huge piece off right this very minute! :-)

  36. Anh says:

    East Meets West Kitchen, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Hme-made spinach & ricotta pastry/bread is really much better than the dull stuff from the usual cafe’.

  37. Pravs says:

    wow beautiful !!! looks so tempting. You have so many delicious recipes out here.Thanks for coming by, now i will keep frequenting here 😀

  38. Bharathy says:

    Wow! I am falling in love with your blog!..Woderful photography..Amazing collection of recipes..So Classic!!

  39. Jyothsna says:

    Looks fantastic Anh! Feta and spinach combo is really tasty!

  40. Wendy says:

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow! Your photography is amazing, Anh!

  41. Antonia says:

    These look so wonderful, I can almost smell them. What great photography – I want to reach right into the computer screen and tear a piece right off! I like the idea of adding citrus to the spinach and feta combo. Great idea.

  42. Andrea says:

    Really lovely! I’ll have to give this one a try.

  43. maybahay says:

    your bread looks divine. this is versatile, too. i’d be happy to have some of those as a snack, or for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.

  44. Precious Moments says:

    I got a tub of feta cheese which I am still figuring out what to do with it till now. Hmmm…. going to attempt this once I get some spinach. Thanks for sharing.

  45. tigerfish says:

    Wow, exactly like what I would see in a professional bakery! You are a genius.

  46. bee says:

    just gorgeous. this dough will make a great muffin batter too, me thinks, but the pulling apart makes it more fun.

  47. Cris says:

    The pictures tells it all, it must be so good! :-)

  48. Ellie says:

    Anh, this is absolutely gorgeous, and looks MUCH tastier than the pull-aparts I see at the bakery…mmmm!

  49. Amy says:

    Bread is one of my weakness. I will be pulling rolls off of that loaf until there is none left! 😀 I’ll be trying this recipe soon!

  50. Aimée says:

    Mmm, I can almost smell the freshly baked bread. This is a wonderful recipe.

  51. Dee Light says:

    Oh, goodness!!! That looks delish!!!! Thanks.

  52. nicisme says:

    Oh wow! This bread looks fantastic – I’m drooling!

  53. bri says:

    Oooh, Anh your bread looks so tasty. My loving husband made spanikopita for me while I was sick from chemotherapy and I can’t stand to eat it again. But I sooooo love spinach and bread and such. Your recipe may be the perfect thing to bring me back around to those flavors. I will let you know if I try it out. Thanks for the inspiration.

  54. Tartelette says:

    Absolutely stunning!

  55. Sharmi says:

    dear Anh, the bread looks so good. I can feel from the pic how good it might be tasting. I was real busy lately so could not visit regularly.

  56. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    What a wonderful idea! This bread is gorgeous! I bet it tastes as good as it looks!

  57. abby says:

    i’ve never made bread like this – i think i need to try it very soon!

  58. Shella says:

    That bread looks heavenly perfect. Wish I could lay my hands on it.

  59. Annie says:

    I was browsing through your blog and was fasinated by your amazing pictures! This recipe caught my eye because it was in Notebook Magazine a couple months ago. I have it in my blog as well and love this recipe!

  60. origami ornaments says:

    i’m baking this right now…(waiting for the bread to rise) and i’m thinking of adding a bit of smoked salmon. the photos look lovely =)

  61. sheila @ Elements says:

    I could eat this every day! I can't wait to make it! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! :)

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