I have a problem. I really want to become an artisan bread baker (or as close as you can get doing it as a hobby) but I just haven’t been putting in the time to get better. And like all things, unless you practice you don’t make perfect.
The challenge with bread baking, in my opinion, is planning ahead. Yeast bread needs time to rise, then even more time to rise after shaping the dough. My problem is I’m not a very good planner.
I can whip up a home made chocolate Oreo Cake or Guiness Cupcakes with relative ease and limited planning on a Sunday morning during Baby Boy’s nap time. But bread? In my dreams. Well, most of the time.
Today is reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club, an online group where food bloggers are assigned each others blogs in secret, cook something from it, then share with the world on reveal day.
This month we were assigned the blog Cooking Rookie, a food blog with delicious food photography and recipes. Rachel and I saw this bread recipe and decided to “plan” to bake it – it just looked too delicious to pass up. Feta cheese bread? Yes please.
When you bite into this bread you get that nice crunchy exterior followed by a moist, soft interior. The feta adds a nice subtle saltiness, while the spinach isn’t overpowering and compliments in its own way.
So how does this bread recipe hold up for a time challenged Father of a 13 1/2 month old? Not bad at all. The flavor is outstanding, but more importantly, it’s quite simple to put together. You literally throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix to combine, then let it sit for 2 hours. We ran errands during that time.
Now, because I’m trying to improve my bread baking techniques, I did get a little fancy. I tried baking it two different ways, both included in the directions below.
The first way was on a pizza stone with steam. That method wasn’t bad but I didn’t get the nice caramelized crust I was looking for. I blame my technique, not the recipe.
The second method produced better looking results, as featured in the photos. I placed by dough ball in a preheated dutch oven, covered with the lid, and baked it. This increased the baking time but resulted in a more satisfying appearance.
Both approaches yielded equally delicious results, so you can’t go wrong either way.
Recipe adapted from: Cooking Rookie