Spinach-Feta Loaf “Spanakopita”


For the dough: Makes 3 Loaves

500 g Spelt flour, or all-purpose
100 ml olive oil
20 ml vinegar, white wine, or ouzo
10 g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme( just leaves) or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
210 ml water
200 ml olive oil, for brushing each
Tip: Semolina, or polenta for dusting the bottom of the pan.

Mix the flour, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and water for 5 minutes in a mixer, using the hook attachment.
If you don’t have a hook attachment, then mix it well with with your hands, and then knead for 7 minutes.
When the dough comes together nicely and it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, it is ready.
The dough should be soft and elastic. If it is not, beat for another 5 minutes.
When ready, transfer to another bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set it aside to rest for 30 minutes to rest.

For the filling
8 TBS olive oil
6 spring onions, coarsely chopped
2 leek, coarsely chopped
2 kilo large leaf spinach, or also kale, or collard greens for variety
1/3 bunch chopped dill
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or 2 tsp fresh
lemon zest, of 2 lemon
800 g feta cheese, crumbled
200 g ricotta
400 g mascarpone or cream cheese
1 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste. keep in mind that the feta cheese is also salty, so go slow and taste.

Place a non-stick pan over medium to high heat.
Add 2-3 TBS of olive oil along with the spring onions and leeks.
Sauté until soft.
Tear the large leaf spinach into pieces with your hands, and add them to the pan with the onions.
Sauté until it softens over medium heat and until all of the liquid evaporates.
Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly for a few minutes.
Add the oregano, dill, lemon zest, feta cheese, cream or mascarpone cheese, ricotta, salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
Stir lightly until the cheeses and greens have been distributed.
Set aside until ready to use.

Rolling the dough:
Preheat oven to 190* C (374* F) on Fan.
When the dough is mixed and ready, transfer to your working surface and divide in to 4 equal parts.
Sprinkle some semolina on to your working surface roll out the first of the 3 pieces of dough. You want to roll it out atleast 1/4 cm thick.
If your dough is too sticky, sprinkle with some more semolina and continue rolling out.
Always roll the rolling pin towards you to spread the dough out further, and never take the rolling pin until the edge.
Continue rolling out each piece of dough in the same manner. Coat each side with olive oil and set aside until you finish –covered with a towel –until ready to fill and roll.

On a dry surface sprinkled with flour, place your sheet of dough and take 1/3 of your spinach mixture and spread it evenly along the edge of closest to you. Fold the sides over slightly, and take the bottom edge closest to you and begin to roll away from you, creating a loaf style as you shape it.

Make sure you roll the sides evenly across the length of the loaf, and seal the edges with some water when reaching the end.
Take a loaf pan, or tray and brush it with olive oil to coat.
Sprinkle some semolina, or polenta on the surface of the baking tray, this will help to create a crunchy and crispy bottom to the bread, and is a signature touch to greek country bread.
Score the surface with a sharp knife to resemble thick slices, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil and a bit of kosher salt.
Repeat the process with the other 2 loaves.
Place all 3 loaves in the ovenand bake at 160*C for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.
When ready, remove from oven and let cool before cutting.

Drizzle each piece with a small amount of olive oil and serve with a salad, or something fresh on the side.

Share the Post: