Italian Rustic Spinach Bread

"This is a great treat we've enjoyed for each Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a recipe I developed when I owned and operated Le Petit Gourmet Food Shop in Milford, CT. The bread was so popular it was difficult keeping up with the demand, especially during the holidays. NOTE: It's extremely important to make the dough with bread flour and NOT all purpose flour. Otherwise, if you don't want to make the dough from scratch, just purchase bread dough at your local supermarket, but do not expect the same results."
photo by Dedee Royale photo by Dedee Royale
photo by Dedee Royale
Ready In:
1hr 35mins
2 Loaves




  • Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off.
  • In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
  • Add warm water and oil, mix well with fork.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead at least 10 minutes until smooth.
  • Spray a bowl with cooking spray and place dough inside, and cover with plastic wrap and cloth towel.
  • Let rise in warm place (80-85F) for 30-40 minutes.
  • Sprinkle ungreased cookie sheet with cornmeal.
  • Punch down dough and cover with inverted bowl, and rest for 15 minutes.
  • Divide dough into two loaves.
  • Roll out one loaf at a time into approximately 12"x14" and spread spinach mixture evenly all over surface.
  • Roll up tightly tucking in sides and set aside on a cookie sheet that is lightly covered with cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and cloth towel.
  • Let loaves rise for another 30-40 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • With a sharp knife cut several deep diagonal slits on top of each loaf.
  • Brush tops with beaten egg white.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped.
  • Cool slightly and serve warm.
  • Note: For freezing, cool completely and wrap in aluminum foil. Reheat in oven at 350F for 15 minutes.
  • Filling Directions:

  • Place thawed spinach in large frying pan over low flame.
  • Mix in the balance of ingredients and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes.
  • Cool.
  • With your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and set aside.

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<p>I have been a gourmet cook for over 40 years. In the mid 70's I owned and operated my own gourmet bistro in Connecticut called Le Petit Gourmet and also provided a catering service for upscale clientele. <br /> <br /> I always had an entrepreneurial soul and was a front runner in developing frozen gourmet dinners. Because of a divorce, I didn't follow through which probably would have made me a very rich lady today. <br /> <br />In 1994, I founded the South Coast Gourmet Club in Florida, The South Shore Gourmet Club in Massachusetts and also the Chef Buddies Club.</p> <p>In 2012, I was chosen as one of the 100 amateur chefs out of the 50,000 who competed nationwide, to appear on Season 3 of Master Chef on ABC. &nbsp;I didn't make it through but it was an unforgettable experience.&nbsp;</p>
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