Spinach & Fennel Loaf

Ever since I got my hands on Sophie Dudemaine's Sweet and Savory Loaves, I have been going somewhat mad on making loaves and cakes. The sweet loaves are really nice but what's really getting me all zinged are the savory variations. If it was left to me I would be baking a new savory loaf everyday of the week.

That is why when dear dear Andrew announced the theme to this month's Waiter There's Something In My - Bread, I was excited to say the least.

What's in my bread? You'll be surprised at the ingredients used in this loaf. When I am making one of Sophie's loaves I am not always sure that it is going to work. It's easy to understand why I think this.

When I start putting all the ingredients together according to the instructions I just cannot imagine that they will combine so well. I mean after all many of the recipes in this book, defies all laws and guidelines of traditional loaves, as I know them. OK, she uses the basics to make a cake like batter, but the stuff that goes into the cakes leaves me rather stumped! I also keep thinking "Can a loaf contain so many ingredients?" This thought keeps me running back and forth to my oven to check if the loaf has not exploded in there.

No, they do not explode. The only explosion that takes place is in my mouth, when I taste these creations of wonder. They always turn out moist and depending on the ingredients some are dense others are fluffy. And they always taste just incredible.

I picked this one because it was the perfect Spring like loaf. Even Sophie categorizes this loaf in the Spring chapter. See, her loaves are organized not according to courses or ingredients etc. They are organized according to the seasons and months. This way you can always make a scrumptious loaf using all the fresh produce available in the current season. I find this so clever.

I made a few changes to the way the loaf is prepared, other than that I kept to the directions. I present to you a wonderful loaf adapted from Sophie Dudemaine's Sweet and Savory Loaves. A must have on every kitchen shelf!


Come celebrate Spring with me. This month Spring Is In The Air.
Deadline: May 09, 2007!


500g fresh baby spinach
1 fennel bulb - chopped coarsely
1 tray/bunch cress
25g butter + a bit of olive oil - The original recipe calls for 50g of butter
approx. 1 teaspoon salt
approx 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2-4 teaspoons sesame seeds - double use
150g all-purpose flour
2-3 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
80ml sunflower oil - I do not use sunflower oil - instead I used organic rape oil
125ml luke warm milk
100g Appenzeller cheese - grated - The original recipe calls for Gruyère, but I had the Appenzeller on hand.


Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a loaf tin.

In a large pan heat the olive oil and 25g butter until melted. Add the spinach and sauté for a couple of minutes, just until the spinach slightly falls together. Add the cress. Sprinkle salt, pepper and the fresh nutmeg and allow to cook for approx. 5 minutes.

Add the Fennel and 1 teaspoon of the sesame seeds to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a mixing bowl mix together flour and baking powder. Add the eggs and rigorously beat with a whisk. Drizzle the rape oil and the warm milk into the batter, beating constantly. Add the grated cheese and fold in. Now add the vegetable/herb mixture to this and mix well.

Pour out into the loaf tin, sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick is inserted into the middle of the cake and it comes out clean.

Take out and allow to cool. Take out of the tin and cut thick slices. Enjoy with your favorite spread.


These kind of loaves are so perfect for warm days. I served mine with some flavored quark. A refreshing glass of chilled dry white wine for us grown-ups and for Soeren some white grape juice. The evening was perfect. The loaf still warm, tasted exquisite. The aroma of the fennel lingering in the air and the flavor of the spinach dwelling on the tongue. This loaf is packed with ingredients that harmonize perfectly with each other.

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  1. That looks so beautiful, I cannot believe that it is bread. It looks way more substantial, like meatloaf, only much nicer.

  2. I agree with Sabrina - I can hardly believe it's bread - it's so colourful and vibrant with green! I can imagine how wonderful and savoury this was, Meeta!

  3. Wow beautiful Meeta! I never bother to make bread at home, can always buy nice ones from our friendly neighborhood baker, right? But looking at this, I am suddenly feeling the need to bake :)... delicious!!!

  4. Meeta,

    this looks so beautiful, you describing the evening makes it even more delicious. Like that fact that this is eggless.

    beautiful recipe

  5. Meeta, this is just fantastic! I love spinach and fennel and very much would like to try this. This post tips me over into wanting this cookbook. First, I'll try at the library.
    Great post.

  6. wow meeta fantastic it looks so nice! From when the new bakery opened just below our apartment i never bother to bake but seeing your post is inspiring me

  7. Hey Meeta, I always try buying different bread from our bakers near my workplace but never bothered to bake one. Yours look amazing and so rich!!

  8. meeta, we have planted fennel, and when i get a bulb, i am so making this. it look fabulous. looking forward to more savoury loaves from you.

  9. this looks amazingly delicious & FULL of flavor. I have yet to make a veggie loaf, and can't wait to try this one. it has ALL my favorite ingredients!

  10. Meeta, this bread is like a complete meal! ;)

  11. Oh Meeta - that looks totally amazing! So beautiful and so GREEN. More like one of your 5-a-day portions of vegetables than a carbohydrate ;-) I love the idea of fennel in bread so I'd definitely like to try this. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your lovely photos.

  12. I have never seen a loaf of bread look quite that good...amazing!

  13. totally amased! That 150 g flour can hold so many goodies! Almost like a quiche but in a loaf-format :)

  14. Wow, that looks healthy, too! At least I can convince myself that it is. Beautiful.

  15. Meeta that's the most gorgeous loaf of bread I've ever seen.. it's emerald! I am totally enthralled with those pictures and would love to try a slice of this with some creamy cheese spread on top.. *swoon*

  16. I have her book too and some others she wrote (one on madeleines, to die for) and I was staring at the same recipe wondering the same thing...how does it fit together. thanks to you I know! It looks great!

  17. Tried this bread this weekend. We liked it, not sure if it will taste good over the next few days though, as this is the kind of bread you want to eat as soon as it's out of the oven!

  18. Hi Meeta,
    Cooking is something that I really enjoy and if friends and family enjoys it then it gives me immense pleasure.Today is the first time i visited your blog and ,,voila,,,it is amazing the photographs and the receipes,,I liked the way you have taken pictures of the dishes and described yourself..Can relate to what you say..awesome.I have recently started my blog and hoping to follow your footsteps.Your blog gave me a boost.this spinach loaf is so different ,would give it a try and post how it came out.


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