Spinach Ciabatta

November 27, 2018
2 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Makes 2 loaves
Author Notes

This bread dough uses juiced spinach instead of water, for a crisp, chewy loaf that’s secretly packed with veggies. Juice the spinach with the water before starting to mix the dough (this makes easy work of it, even if you don’t have a particularly powerful blender). The dough will be very wet after mixing, but will strengthen during its rise time, then the traditional shaping requires little effort to maintain the light crumb structure. Be sure not to under-bake—this loaf is best when the outside is crisp, and the inside is tender and chewy. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • 6 cups (255 grams) spinach
  • 2 1/4 cups (567 grams) warm water
  • 6 2/3 cups (802 grams) bread flour, plus more as needed for dusting
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  1. In a blender, puree the spinach and water until smooth. If you want to juice the spinach, you can do that too, then just stir the warm water in after.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the flour, salt, and yeast to combine, 15 seconds. Add the spinach/water mixture and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl well to ensure all the flour has been fully incorporated. Raise speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more.
  3. Transfer the dough (it will be very thin - don’t panic!) to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a sifter to generously dust your work surface with flour (at least 14 x 14 inches). The layer of flour should be thin - not built up too high, but you it should be coated enough that you shouldn’t be able to see the work surface underneath the flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface, then generously flour the surface of the dough as well.
  5. Use a bench knife to cut the dough in half. With one of the prepared baking sheets nearby, carefully pick up the loaf and gently transfer it to the baking sheet - the dough will stretch a bit and elongate the shape when you lift it, that’s ok!
  6. Repeat with the other loaf and the second baking sheet. Cover each loaf with plastic and let rise until noticeably puffy, 35-45 minutes. Towards the end of rise time, preheat the oven to 450°F with two racks positioned near the lower end of the oven. Have ready a 9x13 inch pan and 2 cups of ice cubes.
  7. Remove the plastic from the loaves and transfer to the oven. Place the 9x13 inch pan with ice cubes on the base of the oven. Close the oven door and bake for 15-20 minutes. Switch the loaves on the racks and continue to bake until very crisp, 8-10 minutes more. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rachel
  • Erin Jeanne McDowell
    Erin Jeanne McDowell
  • Marci
  • Ashley Lorraine
    Ashley Lorraine
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

6 Reviews

Marci November 12, 2021
Fresh spinach? Frozen? Absolutely love your show!!
Ashley L. December 15, 2018
My bread turned out beautifully. I agree the directions were a bit ambiguous but one can infer the next steps if familiar it’s baking. Thanks for sharing this loaf!
Rachel December 10, 2018
This looks really great, but is this recipe missing a step, I don’t see anything about kneading or shaping the loaves.
Erin J. December 10, 2018
Hi Rachel - you can find kneading the dough in step 2 and shaping the loaves in step 5. The shaping is very minimal due to the wetness of the dough! Let me know if you have any other questions!
weshook December 16, 2018
I agree, you flour your work surface in step four and then step five has you cut the dough in half without using the floured work surface. I know what needs to be done, but it isn't there for those that don't.
Erin J. December 16, 2018
Thanks so much for pointing that out! I added some clarifications to that step to make it clearer!