Saturday, January 10, 2009

Savory Swirl

When the Bread Baking Babes made Yule Wreath breads, there were both sweet and savory versions on their blogs. The one that really caught my eye was the savory version found at Tanna's blog, My Kitchen In Half Cups. Although many elements in the filling sounds delish, she had me at Spinach. The idea of a bread wreath with a spinach stuffing just had instant appeal. Then you throw in some Italian sausage, some onions (in my version) and herbs in the bread dough, plus a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the crust and you are in heaven. Thank you Tanna!

I used the recipe for the Yule Wreath found on her blog, used my plain sourdough starter instead of yeast, and used whole wheat flour plus an additional half cup of all purpose flour.

Since the Yuletide is long past, I decided to skip the wreath and shape the rolled up, stuffed dough into a big letter C. For a pretty simple dough and easy to do filling, this looks really impressive once you cut the slashes with scissors and turn the pieces out to show off the filling.

It is even more amazing when you take it out of the oven, all golden brown and smelling like the best Italian food you can imagine. The best part is eating it! Warm bread, savory sausage, tangy spinach, sweet onions, and just a hint of herbs and Parmesan. It will be gone before you know it!

Yule Wreath
adapted from Betty Crocker's International Cookbook
as seen on My Kitchen In Half Cups by Tanna

variations in italics

1 package active dry yeast
(I used 1 cup sourdough starter instead, plus ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast mixed into the water - below)

1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 deg. F)

3/4 cup lukewarm milk

1/4 cup sugar
(I used 1 tablespoon sugar)

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1/2 tsp ground cardamom
(I used 2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs instead)

1/2 tsp salt

3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
(I used 2-1/2 cups AP flour +
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)

1-Whisk together 2 cups flour, yeast, cardamom, (dried herbs) sugar and salt. Stir in milk, butter, egg, Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

2-Turn dough onto lightly floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. (Mine took 2 1/2 hours)

3-Prepare Filling

3/4 pound Hot Italian Chicken Sausage
(I used Turkey Italian Sausage)

brown well & add
6 shallots sliced thin
(I used ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion)

for about a minute then top with
4 hands full spinach
stir until wilted
(I used chopped spinach)

allow to cool

4- Punch down the dough. Roll into rectangle, 15 x 9-inches, on a lightly floured surface. Spread with the filling to within 1/4-inch of the edges. Roll up tightly, beginning at the wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Stretch roll to make even. With sealed edge down, shape into ring on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Pinch ends together. (I shaped it into a letter C shape)

5- With scissors or kitchen shears, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 1-inch intervals. Turn each section on it's side (90 degree turn), to show off the pretty swirled filling. Cover loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double, about 40 to 50 minutes.

6- Heat oven to 350 deg. F. Right before putting into the oven, brush crust with a little milk and sprinkle on about 1 tablespoon grated Parmesans cheese. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (If it browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)

You can find this at Yeastspotting at Susan's blog Wild Yeast...around Dec. '10!


  1. Oh you made one too. It looked really good over on Tannas. I think the next book club brunch we have I am busting this out.

  2. Oh, how I love these kinds of savory breads. They're so versatile and satisfying. And they're ideal party food.
    ps-my word verification is "cheezin." Kind of funny, huh?

  3. Oh wow Elle! That is just fantastic looking and you made it with your starter too.

    I think that qualifies you for honorary Bread Babe Buddy status!

  4. So slow these days I am.
    I think we need to find another name for this one, a name that is a better reflection of the versatility of this dough and even it's shaping!
    I had you at spinach did I. I buy the biggest Sam's container of spinach and then am always looking for new ways to use it. This was ideal.
    So glad you enjoyed this one!

  5. Really looking good! This savory filling looks fantastic!

  6. Great version, using starter and whole wheat appeals to me! My kids love spinach so the pairing with sausage is wonderful for us too!

  7. This looks fantastic! I'm just in awe of all the creative adjustments you made (sourdough starter!) and your finished product is wonderful. Good job!

  8. Peabody, I think Tanna's was even better...well by looks anyway. This would be perfect for a brunch. I'd add some jack cheese over the spinach sausage mix next time for melty cheese goodness.

    Ssuan, they ARE great party food. Cool about the word verification...couldn't make that happen if we tried :)

    Breadchick, Oooh, yes, I like the idea of honorary status. In March I hope to actually join Bread Baking Babes, but obviously am obsessed even now.

    Tanna, I am a spinach slut...just love the stuff. In omlettes, in quiche, just steamed, in salads, and now in bread! We could just call it a wreath and skip the Yule part.

  9. Lien, for the filling goes to Tanna!

    Baking Soda, Your kids will love this! Some marinara sauce for dipping into would probably please them, too.

    Lynn, I'm getting really comfortable with the starter and how to adjust recipes for it...much easier than I thought when I started in October...too much FUN!

  10. Oooh... I have both some kale and onions and some cranberry-orange relish that needs to go into this kind of bread. (Not together, of course!!)

  11. That does look good. Breakfast worthy good.
    Like the lemons up top btw, a nice burst of color in my cold and snowy world.

  12. Tadmack, Hmm, maybe they would all go together, with the addition of nutmeg and some cayenne.

    Jenny, yeah, we are having gray days...and happy for it with such low rainfall...and sunny citrus really cheers one up.