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Spinach, cheese & walnut bread
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260g pack spinach
6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
650g strong white bread flour
100g Cheddar, coarsely grated
100g walnut halves, roughly chopped, or pieces
7g sachet easy bake yeast
2 tsp fine sea salt
Black pepper and ground nutmeg, to season
1. Wash the spinach, dry it thoroughly in a salad spinner then set aside. Oil a 25cm round baking sheet or pizza tin, or 2 round sandwich tins (about 21-22cm diameter).
2. Place the flour in a large bowl, then add the cheese, walnuts, yeast and salt in separate piles. Whisk 3 tbsp of the oil with 400ml warm water (ideally 25-40ºC).
3. Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl then immediately add the oil and water. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined, then use your hand to keep turning the dough ball over in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Press the dough flat in the bottom of the bowl, then fold an edge into the centre and press down; give a quarter turn of the bowl then repeat the folding and turning 9 times. You will feel the dough change under your hand and start to become smoother.
5. Rest the dough for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the spinach: heat a large frying pan or wok, add 2 tbsp of the remaining oil and then the spinach. Stir-fry quickly until just wilted. Season with black pepper and nutmeg and leave to cool.
6. Fold and turn the dough again as above and rest for a further 10 minutes — repeat this process twice. Fold the dough 10 times for the fourth time, then turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface.
7. Roll out the dough to a rectangle approx 25x40cm and spread evenly with the cooled spinach. Roll up tightly from a long edge and cut into 16 even slices. Arrange the pieces on or in the prepared tins, then cover with oiled clingfilm or plastic bags, or a warm, clean damp tea towel. Leave for 45 minutes to 1 hour until well risen.
8. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Bake the bread for 30-40 minutes, until deeply golden in colour. Leave for a few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool. Break the savoury spirals of bread apart to serve.
Scatter a little semolina onto the base of the baking sheet or tins for a crisper base to the bread.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in July 2013.