Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Italian Spinach Braid

This recipe comes from Taste of Home's Healthy cooking magazine, but of course it is a la Kimberly.  Can't seem to follow a recipe anymore.  This called for frozen dough - that is where change started.  Sure would have been easier with the frozen dough, but I don't keep that on hand and I didn't buy any.  For some reason I also forgot to buy mozzarella cheese.  I don't have any idea why.  All I had was a mexican 4 cheese blend.  I subbed out a parmesan/romano mix for the Romano called for in the original and played a bit with the seasonings.  I'm writing now more than anything to try to remember what I did for the bread in case it turns out wonderful and I want to do it again. 
For the bread I started looked at 30 minute bread dough on realmomkitchen, but I subbed out wheat for white flour, and I used agave as my sweetener, and a little bit less.  Then the dough seemed too sticky to braid so I added more and more flour, a little vital wheat gluten, then some potato flakes and some Italian seasoning.  This is what I did, (and in parenthasis what I think I could do for next time.)
Bread Ingredients
  • 1 1/8 + 2 teaspoons warm water.  (Use 1 1/8 next time and only use 3 1/2 cups flour - no extra)
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (I actually shorted this a tiny bit
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour  (I added about 3 Tablespoons more)
  • 1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 1/3 cup potato flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl and let rest for 15 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until a nice dough forms.  Roll out on lightly floured surface.  Transfer to a greased cookie sheet and let rise for 10 minutes.

  • 1 lb pre-cooked beef, defrosted 2 minutes in microwave.
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry  (I only had 6 oz frozen and added some fresh to make up the difference.  We'll see how it turns out.
  • 2/3 cup mozzarella (I only had 4 cheese, but I would use mozzarella just because it is and Italian dish)
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Romano/Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Spread mix down center of dough.  On each long side, cut 1 inch strips about 3 inches in.
  3. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling.  (I never do this well. :(  Pinch ends to seal.  (They brushed it with egg white which would have been a great idea, but I didn't do it.
  4. Serve with pizza sauce.
This was really tasty dipped in pizza sauce.  I loved it, so did Brandon.  It got mixed reviews from the kids. Duncan didn't think he should eat the bread because it was all "soggy."  It wasn't in the least bit soggy.  It was completely cooked all the way through so go figure.  I thought I wouldn't like the fennel, but it ended up making Tavio think it had sausage in it when it was just hamburger, and hey, maybe that was the point of the fennel.

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