Italian Spinach-Cheese Swirls

Yield: 20 serving per loaf (recipe makes 2 loaves)
Source: The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, p. 95 (photo instructions included)
Comments: This bread is great! I will make a bit more stuffing next time. When you cut the loaf before twisting the halves, cut from the folded end, not the end where the two ends meet. This makes a pretty loaf. If you own the cookbook, see the diagrams on page 95. I knead the dough in my mixer with the dough hook.

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 packages dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water (100° - 110°)
5 1/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking Spray
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine oil and garlic in a small bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute; set aside. And cool, Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3 cups flour and salt in a large bowl. Add garlic mixture and yeast mixture; stir until well blended. Add 2 cups flour, stirring until soft dough forms.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
  4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, running to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
  5. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide in half. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface Combine chopped spinach, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Spread each portion of dough with half of spinach mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Roll up each rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place rolls, seam side up, on opposite ends of a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray ( I placed mine on two separate baking stones).
  6. Working with one roll at a time, fold roll in half, placing one half directly on top of other half; pinch ends to seal. Using kitchen shears, cut through folded end of roll, cutting through roll to within 1 inch of opposite end. Twist cut halves of dough outward so filling faces up. Repeat procedure with remaining roll. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. Uncover dough, and brush egg white mixture lightly over loaves. Bake at 350° for 27 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pan, and cool in wire racks.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Healthy Units: 1 per slice
Calories-74, Fat-1.6g, Protien-2.6g, Carb-12g, Fiber-0.8g, Chol-1mg, Iron-0.9mg, Sodium-111mg, Calc-23mg

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