Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread

by - March 24, 2020

Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread

Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread

Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread

At this time, I don't want to run any risk going out for spinach.  So, I just used whatever we had.  The green colour will stand out more if more spinach were used.  Unfortunately, I only had this much Spinach.

However, this Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread turned out very nice.

Characteristic of this bread:  The texture is especially soft, fluffy and moist on the first day and  second day it becomes slightly dry but, still soft. There is a very slight mild sourness.

There are two more recipes using instant yeast that you may like.  Spinach Bread (Straight Dough) and Spinach Loaf (Yudane Method).  

It is advisable to read the General Notes before baking.


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.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

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. Proofing Test:
    • 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 your dough until it just reaches 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.

A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

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.

Recipe - Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread 


600g loaf pan (12" X 3.5" X 4"  or  31cm X 9cm X 10cm)

Levain - 260g total (ratio 1:3:3):
40g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
120g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
120g water 

Main Dough:
350g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
260g levain (above)
30g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 1/4 tsp salt
30g butter
50g spinach
120g full cream milk (hold back 15g and add in later if necessary)

450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

Levain - 190g total (ratio 1:3:3):
28g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
84g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
84g water 

Main Dough:
255g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
190g levain (above)
25g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1  tsp salt
26g butter
40g spinach
90g full cream milk (hold back 10g and add in later if necessary)

  1. Levain:
    1. One night before baking, mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment in aircond room (approximately 25 - 27C) overnight until tripled.  It took about 10 - 12 hours. You will get more levain.  But, you need only the amount mentioned on the recipe.
    3. Note - If you like to prepare levain on the same baking day, please use the ratio 1:1:1.  Let it ferment at room temperature (approximately 30 - 31C) until tripled.  It took about 3-5 hours depend how strong is your starter.  
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Blend spinach and milk in a food processor until fine.
    2. Put all ingredients (except butter), including the sourdough starter (levain) into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 5 minutes (Chef Kenwood mixer, speed 2.5) until dough comes together.  Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes until reach window pane stage.  I stopped half way to prevent the motor from overheating. 
  3. First Proofing/Resting The Dough:  Use one of the methods that suits your schedule.
    1. 60 minutes proofing - In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  The dough did not rise a lot.
    2. Cold Proofing - Shape the dough after resting for 15 minutes and cold proof in the fridge for around 12 hours, bake the next morning after the dough rises and  reaches the pan of the rim.  However, cold retarding will yield a more sour bread.  If the sourness is not desired, it may be reduced by adding more sugar if a cold retard is used. Some may not mind the sourness though, so it is up to you for your personal taste.
  4. To shape:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin.
    3. Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
  5. Final Proofing:
    1. Let the dough proof in awarm and dark place until it reaches the rim of the pan (This one took approximately 4 hours at room temperature of 28C - 30C).  It may take longer to proof depending on your ambient temperature and your starter.
  6. To bake:
    1. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190C.
    2. Bake in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove bread from oven and let it cool on rack completely before slicing.

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  1. Is it true that sourdough bread cant rise as tall as commercial yeast bread?

    1. It's depend on your sourdough starter. If your sourdough starter is strong, it should do the same work. Cheers :)