Spinach Braid / Veggie Calzone (January 5, 2010)

After visiting Canada and cooking so much with Abby and John (well, mostly Abby) I started checking out some more cooking blogs. I came across this one and David and I decided to give it a whirl.

The recipe is from Bonnie the Baker.

Italian Bolognese Spinach Braid

1/2 tablespoon of instant yeast {only so that it doesn’t have to rise twice}
1/4 cup of warm milk
1/8 cup of butter, softened
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour

*For the dough, David made the pizza dough recipe from the bread maker cookbook we have. I thought this was simpler than it would have been to make a whole thing of dough.

1 jar sauce of your choice (We used Barilla Sweet Pepper and we didn’t use the whole jar. In fact, we probably only used about 1 cup of sauce.)

handful (or so) of mozzarella cheese (David said a little over 1 cup).

heaping 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves (Probably more like 1 cup. We also added some other veggies in an effort for more flavor. These included a green pepper, a medium onion, mushrooms, and some garlic. David sauted these veggies before adding them to the calzone.)

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the dour except only half of the flour.  Mix the rest of the flour in by hand.  The dough will be very sticky, so maybe put a little olive oil or butter on them before you mix in the flour.  Knead the dough until all the flour is mixed in.

Roll dough into rectangle, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Place on a greased cookie sheet. In the middle of the dough, place your filling in a long, thin line. Make sure to leave about 1 1/2 inches on each side.  Then cut 1 inch apart slits in the dough.  Starting at the ends, fold pieces over filling and allow them to criss-cross in the middle.  Pinch and fold the ends.  Cover and let rise for about 30-40 minutes. (Because we did a different dough recipe, we did not let ours rise).

Place braid into pre-heated 350 degree oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes. (David said it was more like 20-25 minutes).

David: I was surprised that it was as good as it was. The crust was very nice. Probably could have gone with a little less cheese and a little more sauce. I would also roll out the dough a little thinner so I could close it as suggested. I would give it an A.

Carla: I also like it. I liked that it was so flavorful. We cut it into about 8 pieces which makes each piece about 300 calories each and with some extra veggies (we also had broccoli on the side, but a salad would also be nice), it was a great meal. I would have this again. A.

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