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Monday, October 15, 2012

Wolverine Says: "I could eat this every day"!

So what's a girl to do when she has artichokes and spinach and a batch of bread just sitting around....oh...I don't know....make spinach and artichoke dip with artisan bread? Heck YES!  Everyone downed it with happy little smiles on their faces, which puts a smile on my face.  Wolverine even said he could eat this every day! I'm sure that's not gonna happen, but it will definitely be in the rotation.

So, this is the third loaf of this bread.  I made the first two loaves of this the other day and then experimented by putting the third loaf in the fridge.  It tastes really good, the bread is nice and light but still a bit of a chewy texture (think baguette from Panera).  But, mine didn't look nearly as pretty as theirs :(  The top looked dull and the cracks didn't split nearly as wide.  Well - turns out, things like that will happen when you don't actually read the entire recipe.  Today, when I was getting ready to bake the third loaf I noticed that it said I am supposed to put a pan of water in the oven with the bread when it bakes.  OH! That makes a big difference.  Sheesh - and I thought reading comprehension was a strength of mine.  Also, do not over bake this bread.  The original recipe says 30-35 minutes.  The first batch I went with 30 minutes and it almost burned!  For this loaf, I did 25 and it was 100x better than the first batch!!  So here's the recipe with some changes/notes.

Artisan Bread 
Recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes

 What's In It:

3 c lukewarm water

1 1/2 T Morton's salt
1 1/2 T active dry yeast
6 1/2 c Unbleached All Purpose Flour

What You Do With It:

In a very large bowl, mix dry ingredients.

Pour in the water and stir just until thoroughly combined.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil).  Let the dough rest for 2-5 hours.  I wait the full 5.  The dough will roughly double in size, so if your bowl isn't big enough to handle that, be sure to grease your plastic wrap or foil.

"Divide" dough into 3 sections.  I took a knife and just kinda drew a peace sign in the bowl to use as a rough guide.  I then removed one section* at a time and worked with it.

Using well floured hands and adding more flour as necessary to prevent the sticky glob from fusing permanently with your skin, form each section of dough into a ball by tucking the sides under the ball until it is  in the shape you want.

Place on a non-stick mat or parchment lined baking sheet and allow to rest for about 30 min.

Place a pan of water into your oven below the rack where your bread will cook.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Just prior to placing bread in oven, make a few slash marks on the top of each loaf to allow for controlled cracking while the bread expands.  (My bread seems to flatten and expand quite a bit during it's resting stage, so for my second attempt at this bread, I floured my hands and "re-tucked" the bread to make into a tighter ball.  I then scored it - I'm happy with how it turned out, but I think I'll do it once or twice more before I completely recommend it without a "at your own risk" warning.)

Bake for 25-35 minutes.  Bread will be lightly browned when finished.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.  If you slice it before it cools, you run the chance of it having a much more dense texture.  

*If you don't want to bake all three loaves at once, you can store the unused dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  I transferred my unused dough to a smaller bowl that would fit in my fridge and just kept it wrapped with plastic wrap.  I waited 5 days between bakings and just let the dough come to room temp before I formed it into a ball with well floured hands.  Follow the recipe as normal from there on.

And now....on to the Dip!
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Recipe from Pioneer Woman

What's In It:
6 T butter, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag spinach (or spinach mix)
Salt and Pepper to taste
33oz jar artichokes*
3 T flour
2 c Milk
1/2 c Mozzarella Cheese
1 c Cheddar Cheese
8oz Cream Cheese
1/2 t Cayenne pepper

What To Do With It:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt 3T butter over medium low heat.  Add garlic and cook til fragrant.  Increase heat to medium and add spinach.  Stir and cook until wilted.  Remove from pan and put in strainer, press as much liquid as possible from spinach.  Return strained liquid to pan.

Add artichokes to spinach liquid and cook over medium heat until liquid has cooked off and artichokes start to take on a little color.  Remove the artichokes - I put them in the strainer with the spinach.  Chop spinach and artichokes.

Using the same skillet, melt the other 3T butter.  Whisk in 3T flour until a paste forms.  Stirring constantly over medium low heat, cook 2-3 minutes.  Whisk in milk and continuing stirring until slightly thickened.

Add Cheeses and cayenne and stir until melted.

Add Spinach and Artichokes, stir to combine.

Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and place in oven.  Or, if your skillet is oven safe, simply place skillet into the preheated oven.

Bake for 15 min or until bubbly. Serve with chips, crackers, or the amazing Artisan Bread listed above!

*Yes, I used a jar of artichokes.  Today was my first attempt at steaming whole artichokes - let's just say I need some practice and I am glad that I had a Sam's size jar on hand so I wasn't sitting crying in my kitchen.

You could even serve the Spinach Artichoke Dip with Spaghetti Squash for your little Te-Man! He much preferred the spinach and artichoke sauce to the marinara sauce that he didn't even touch!  :)


  1. I love spin dip! Your Wolverine made some once that was very good for us all, don't know if it's the same recipe, but your bread sounds so good, and easy. I'm going to try it! Also, (I know this from my bakery experience), don't be afraid to score the bread. You can cut it a bit deeper, and it will be fine!

    1. That's awesome Treva! I was just thinking this is going to be on the holiday menu!!

      I thought I had cut it super deep, but clearly not as it is blossoming in the center. Oh well, its pretty forgiving of me as I learn :-) Thanks for the tip!!

  2. I'm gonna have to try making this spin dip!

    1. Do it Sawicki! I was thinking about maybe leaving out the cayenne and adding a super well-drained can of Rotel. I think it would be almost just like LottaWatta Creek's Spinach dip if I did that. Oh man, they have the best! :)