Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spinach and Cream Cheese Bread

While we were in Yokohama for the New Year holiday, we stopped for lunch one day at a bakery/cafe. In Japan we have heaps of bakeries and most are delicious. This particular chain is Y's favorite. I ordered a Spinach and Cream Cheese roll and it was AMAZING! So delicious, in fact, that a few days later I begged Y to find one of those shops near his parents' house so that I could get the same bread. I got two - one for that day and one for the next!

Now that we are back, I find that I am still wanting that bread. Alas, the nearest bakery to us is a different chain and they don't have the same bread. So, I figured I'd have a go at recreating it.

The bread seemed simple enough - a fluffy dough with heaps of spinach in it. As you eat it and get towards the middle there is a cream cheese treat waiting for you. There was also some random corn thrown in, we like to do that here, but I decided it was unnecessary.

I started out with a "Butter Roll" dough. The dough consists of flour, egg, sugar, salt, milk, butter, and yeast. I used my trusty bread maker and set it to beep when it was time to add in the spinach.

While the bread maker was doing it's thing, I prepared the spinach. I used a bag of defrosted frozen spinach and squeezed out as much of the liquid as possible. Once the bread maker beeped I put the spinach in. It seemed like an awful lot, so I left about 1/6 of it out.

Once the bread maker was done, I opened it up and saw that the dough was really liquid-y. It's not usually like that, so I got a bit worried. I put down a lot of flour and lightly kneaded it into the dough.

Once I thought it was good enough, I divided it into six equal-ish pieces and let them rest for 15 minutes.

During that time, I got out a block of cream cheese and cut it into six blocks. Once the 15 minutes were up, I gently flattened one of the pieces of dough, put a block of cheese in the middle and pulled the sides up towards the middle and pinched.

Then I put each one on a baking sheet, pinched side up.

Once they were all prepared, I put them in a warm place and let them rise for 40 minutes. They were huge by the end of this time.

Finally I put an egg wash on the tops and baked them for 20 minutes at 200C. I wasn't paying attention, but I think I should have baked them for a bit less time - maybe 15, 18 minutes? - they got a little browned for my taste.

To be honest, I haven't really been feeling too well so I haven't even tried the bread. But, Y took one to work today and said that this is his favorite bread to date. Good news! My younger brother, who is visiting, also had one this morning and gave his stamp of approval as well. Maybe I'll feel good enough to have one for breakfast tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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