This lovely Spinach and Onion Braid started with pizza dough and ended with tender bread braided around a cheesy spinach filling!
Spinach Onion Braid
I have a confession to make. I’m not a huge fan of onions in bread. Those everything bagels? Blech. Pissaladiere? Eh, not a favorite. So when this month’s Twelve Loaves theme was chosen, I was unsure how to work onions into a bread.
This Spinach Onion Braid was born when I decided to adapt my favorite stuffed shells filling and pop it into a loaf. And it worked! Plus the flavor combination was magnificent. It makes a huge loaf and we polished off half in one meal…then Bill asked if he could have some for breakfast. How about that!
How to Make a Braided Bread
The base for this braid is made from homemade pizza dough. A very smooth, and stretchy dough. It took me a good while to roll it out into a 10 x 18 rectangle.
It’s slightly salty, which works perfectly with the filling composed of spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg and a bit of oregano. Dipping slices into marinara sauce would be fabulous…well, maybe not for breakfast! The braiding process was quite simple. It’s just crossing alternating strips of the dough over the filling. No actual plaiting involved.
I spread the filling down the center of the dough, leaving at least 3 inches of dough on each side. I also left a generous inch on both short ends to fold up and over the filling before starting the braiding process. Feel free to trim the ends however you’d like to get rid of excess dough. Check out my Raspberry Danish Braid for a photo that might help you visualize the process.
More Bread Recipes You’ll Love:
- Chocolate Hazelnut Bread from Saving Room for Dessert
- The Best Cinnamon Rolls
- Homemade Pita Bread
- Braided Easter Bread
- More Bread Recipes
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 package instant yeast (I use Red Star Premium Yeast)
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (if using table salt use less)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10-ounce box frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 1/2 onion, diced small
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine water, sugar, and yeast.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, then the flours and salt. Knead dough on low speed 10 minutes (may also knead by hand).
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning dough to coat surface. Cover dough with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
- Make filling. Saute onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil till soft. Let cool.
- Mix spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, oregano and salt till thoroughly mixed.
- Roll dough into an 18 x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread the filling down the center of the dough (going the long way) leaving 3+ inches of dough on each side of the filling and an inch of space on each end.
- Fold up the short edges over the filling. Cut away any excess dough. Cut an equal number of ¾ inch wide strips in the dough on each side of the filling, then alternating, fold strips up and over filling.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour in a warm place. Preheat oven to 350º
- Whisk together egg and water and brush over loaf. Bake for 30-40 minutes till crust is golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 823mg Carbohydrates: 37g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 11g