This bread came about because I was going through the fridge and found a jar of marinated sun dried tomatoes and thought it would be great to center a bread around them. I always like the combination of spinach and sun dried tomatoes, so that’s what this bread incorporates. Also, since we have a bread machine, I used it to make the whole process easier, but it’s totally doable without one. If you aren’t using a bread machine, you can knead the dough by hand until it’s smooth and elasticy and you can let it rise in a warm place for 3-4 hours (Steps 3 and 4).
Ingredients2 tbsp active dry yeast 1 cup warm water 2 tbsp honey 1 cup lukewarm water 1 tbsp butter 5 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 cup red onion, chopped fine 2 cups fresh baby spinach 2 tbsp Italian seasoning 3.4 cup marinated sun dried tomatoes, minced 1.5 tbsp Italian seasoning 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (pizza pepper) 1 tsp salt 4 cups bread flour (may need more later if the dough is too sticky) 1/4 cup gluten
1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast, honey, and water. Let it rise in a warm dry place (I use the oven) for 10-15 minutes. It should be frothy.
2. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan on high heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for 2 min. Add the baby spinach, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper and cook for 5 min (until the spinach is wilted and the water is boiled off). Remove from the heat. Mix in the sun dried tomatoes and salt.
3. First, put the yeast mixture into the bread machine pan. Second add the flour and gluten (make sure you cover all of the yeast mixture). Finally, add the sun dried tomato and spinach topping. Start the bread maker and let it run the first knead and first rise.
4. Remove from the bread machine. On a floured surface, manually knead it incorporating more flour as needed. Once the dough is elasticy, place it into 2 loaf pans. Let this rise for at least 4 hours (I use the oven), until the dough at least doubles in size. Remover from the oven before preheating!
6. Heat the over to 400 F. Place a small bowl with water in the back of the oven. When the oven is ready, place the bread in. Immediately turn the heat to 350 and bake for 30-35 min (until the top turns light brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you knock it).