Once, in a New England Winter, I saw a version of this festive bread; here is my attempt to re-create it.
200g frozen chopped spinach, de-frosted
100g tomato purée
300ml warm water
1 package dried yeast
60g salted butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoon salt
500g white bread flour, plus as much extra as necessary to form stiff doughs.
- Sprinkle dried yeast onto the warm water in a bowl, allow it to stand until yeast fully dissolved. Add the melted butter and salt, then stir to mix well.
- Squeeze as much water as possible from the spinach, add 75ml of the yeast mixture, and liquidise together. Stir in 100g of the bread flour, mix well.
- In a different bowl, combine tomato purée and 75ml of the yeast mixture. Then add 100g of the flour, and mix well.
- Into a third bowl pour the remaining yeast mixture, and add 200g of the bread flour. Mix well, then add enough flour to make a stiff pliable dough. Knead well for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough into a bowl, cover and leave to rise for an hour.
- Now add flour to the spinach mixture, until it forms a stiff dough. Knead well for 5-10 minutes and when this dough is smooth and elastic, put it in a bowl, cover and leave to rise for an hour.
- Do the same with the tomato mixture. Leave all three doughs in a warm place until they are risen and about doubled, or more, in size; about an hour.
- Take each of the three doughs in turn and knead for a couple of minutes, then roll out each to an approximately 25cm square. Using the plain white dough as a base, top with the spinach and then the tomato squares. Roll the three layers together to make a large sausage shape, lay the loaf on a greased baking sheet with seam-side down, pinch the ends and tuck them under. Cover very lightly and leave to rise in a warm place for about half an hour.
- While the loaf is rising, heat the oven to 2000 C; Gas mark 6; Fan oven 1800 C. When risen, brush the top of the loaf with egg-white, and bake for 35 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the underside.