Breads (Yeast) - Loaves

Spinach Bread Loaf

April 05, 2019 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Spinach Soft Bread

Spinach Bread

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Few years ago, I baked Spinach Bread using straight dough method after trying the spinach bread at our family Christmas dinner. One of my cousins brought a loaf from Singapore and I still remember the taste was buttery and texture was so soft. However, it turned out nice but still not like what I have tried.

I baked again using Old Dough Method also known as the "pre-ferment" method.   I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details.

This bread is so satisfying, soft and fluffy that your family will love.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Spinach Bread Loaf

Yields: 1 loaf 


Old Dough:
165 bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
110g water or 130g milk  (I used water)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar (I used brown sugar)

Main Dough:
165g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
1 tsp instant yeast
15g brown sugar
1 tsp salt
70g milk or 40g whipping cream + 30g water (I used whipping cream + water)
50g spinach 
30g butter, room temperature

450g Loaf pan (20 X 10 X 10 cm)


  1. Old Dough:
    1. Combine water/milk, yeast and bread flour in a bowl of stand mixer.  Then mix with paddle attachment. 
    2. Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it proof 1 hour in room temperature (28C – 30C).  After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 36 hours. 
    3. You may also let it ferment for 12 - 16 hours in cool place or  air-conditioned room (22C - 23C).  
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Blend spinach and milk in a food processor until fine.
    2. Put all ingredients (except butter) into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix until all incorporated.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together and elastic. Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until reach window pane stage.   During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
  3. 1st Proofing:
    1. Cover the bowl with plastic or cling film and let it proof at a warm place for about 45 - 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Shaping:
    1. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions (about 200g per portion) or 2 portions at your choice.
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Rest for 5 - 10 minutes.
    3. Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  
    4. Fold right to centre and fold left to meet in the centre. Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed.
    5. Place all dough in a loaf pan.  
  5. Second Proofing:
    1. Let the dough rise for about 30 - 45 minutes  slightly below the rim of the pan.  My room temperature 28C - 29C.
  6. To bake:
    1. Brush with egg wash (optional).
    2. Bake in a preheated oven at at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  
    3. I usually preheat oven for 15 minutes before baking.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.

Old Dough

Main Dough

Spinach Bread

Spinach Bread


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until it rises 80 - 90% in size or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. Can i make a plain flavour? What do i use to replace the spinach?

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for your questions. If you prepare plain flavour bread, please use the following recipe instead:

      Cheers and happy baking :)

  2. Hihi, what's the taste of this spinach bread? Can tell if spinach was used? Thanks!

    1. Hi, thank you for asking. The texture is soft, fluffy and moist with very mild spinach flavor. If you look at the colour and taste it then can tell it is spinach. Otherwise, by taste itself is a bit hard as the flavor is very mild.

      Cheers :)

    2. Thanks a lot for the detailed description! Am going to make it today 😊

    3. You are most welcome :) Hope you will like it. Happy baking.

  3. Helooo can i use spinach powder? And the measurement thankyou

  4. Hii..can i use spinach powder? And the measurement. Thankyou

    1. Hi, thank you for asking.
      Yes, of course. Sorry, I do not know the measurement because I never used Spinach Powder before. I guess you have to experiment with it. You should use 200g - 230g of milk in total. But, not sure how much spinach powder.

      Cheers :)

  5. Thank you for the great recipe. I wonder if I can use the spinach stem also. I hate to waste food.

    1. Hi, thanks for asking. Yes, of course. The reason I didn't use is because the spinach didn't come with stem.

      Cheers :)

  6. Do u gv this in sourdough recipe?

    1. Hi, yes. Please see the below:

      I used less spinach in sourdough as too much spinach will affect the dough for sourdough baking.

      Cheers :)

  7. Hi, what would happen if I didn't use sugar? Can sugar be skipped in this recipe? Thank you.

    1. Hi, thanks for your interest in this recipe. Sugar give taste and also helping to speed up the proofing. You can skip sugar or replace with honey.

      Cheers :)

  8. Can I add feta cheese to this recipe?

    1. Hi, Thank you for your interest in this recipe. You can try and I think it may change the texture. You may want to try sprinkle on the dough when you shape the bread.

      Cheers :)


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