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Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Is that bread … green? Yes. Yes, it is. I know it might look a little odd, but I wanted to try making a green bread for St. Patrick’s Day. Well, the color of the bread after it’s cooked isn’t quite as bright green as I might like, but it is still green. More importantly, it’s delicious. I ate about half of one of the loaves last night by myself. The slight crunch of the sunflowers with the subtle cheese and spinach taste play together so marvelously in this bread. I think this would be the perfect bread for garlic toast, bruschetta, sandwiches, toasted or just plain (like I was eating it last night). It’s tasty enough to munch on with no butter or anything added at all.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

You could make this bread really fancy pretty by making the spinach-cheese into a swirl in the bread instead of incorporating the spinach right into the dough, like I did with my French Bread with Basil & Gruyere.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Inspired by Ally’s Kitchen’s Buttermilk Cranberry Walnut Bread. If you don’t have a bread machine, see Ally’s recipe.

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed, with the extra liquid squeezed out, and then chopped fine … reserve any liquid to use as “water”
  • 1/4 cup water (or spinach juice)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 3 cups bread flour (add a little more if needed)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds

Dump all the ingredients except the sunflower seeds into your bread machine and start it on the dough cycle. Check the dough a few minutes after you start it while it’s “processing” to see if the dough is sticking together properly and making a nice ball of dough. If it seems like there is too much flour, add a bit of water. If it seems like the dough is too sticky, add some bread flour.

About 25 minutes into the dough cycle (when it is near to done), throw in the sunflower seeds. I actually tossed mine in after the dough cycle was done and then I had to go back and knead them in myself.  I think it would be easier to toss them in just a bit earlier, so the bread machine doesn’t break them to bits, but incorporates the seeds into the dough.

Cut the dough in two and shape it as you like. I shaped half of the dough into a round loaf and the other half into a long, skinny french-bread-style loaf. They both turned out to be pretty big … I was kind of amazed to get that much bread from just 4 cups of flour.

Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This only took about 30 – 45 minutes for me.

Bake at 375 for 35 – 50 minutes or until the top is browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting with a good bread knife. I like to spray my loaves with cooking spray to soften the crust and make it all pretty and shiny, but if you want a chewier crust, don’t do that.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Here’s my big old round loaf. I’m going to freeze it and take it along when I visit my sister this weekend. I think she’s gonna love it.

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This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays.

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15 Responses

  1. This bread looks gorgeous! I’m baking chocolate bread today 🙂


    March 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

    • Ann

      Chocolate bread? Sounds scrumptious! I can’t wait to see it 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

  2. Your sissie Alllllweee luvs it!! We’re just bread makin’ machines, and, these are so much fun to create…now, I’ve done two more…getting ready to post this week, so stay tuned my breadie sistahhhh! xoxo 🙂 Aly

    March 13, 2012 at 11:23 am

    • Ann

      ooh I can’t wait! I love your boho breads, Ally 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  3. Love the sound of it and the color too.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    • Ann

      thank you! if you like spinach and cheese, I think you would love it

      March 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm

  4. Wow, that bread looks amazing! I’m going to have to hop on the bread making train really soon.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

  5. Looks wonderful, ,Ann! Makes me wish I still had my bread machine! Actually, what I really wish is that I had a loaf of that bread 🙂 Thanks!

    March 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    • Ann

      Michele, you don’t have to have a bread machine to do this … it just makes it easier! I wish I could share my loaves with you … I always have too much for little ol’ me.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

  6. I can just imagine how chewy and yummy this bread is. Hot out of the oven with a pat of butter. Dreamy….

    March 14, 2012 at 6:42 am

  7. I must try this one, it looks yummy, and very curious about the green color, will be fun for the kids too, thanks for sharing….

    March 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

  8. I sure see the green! and I’m soo impressed! That’s the part about bread baking I shy away from….eating half of the loaf myself!! But this one sounds too good not to try!

    March 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm

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