Spinach & Caramelized Onion Bread (Star Wars Portion Bread)

Last week, I started sharing my Star Wars themed recipes from my Star Wars Day meal, with my Roast Porg (Cornish Game Hens).  Then I started binge watching Westworld in my evenings and had no time for blogging (daytime is spent distance learning and child-wrangling).
But now I’m done watching Westworld and back to Star Wars…

My real goal here was to make food that was iconically Star Wars without having to take a huge stretch of the imagination or anything gross.  There are tons of Star Wars Themed snacks and desserts out there, but not many main dishes.

Even portion bread exists out there.  Most of the recipes are more like a mug cake, as a nod to the quickly cooking portion bread seen in The Force Awakens.  Since portion bread is green in hue, most recipes color the “bread” with food dye or matcha powder.

I’ve never cared for the texture of mug cake (or bread) and have never used matcha powder (I probably will someday, but I’m not even sure if it’s available locally!)  So I wanted to try and create a portion bread that my whole family could enjoy with ingredients I had readily on hand.

I realized immediately that I would have to forgo the “quick cooking” aspect of portion bread.  I definitely wanted to dye my bread naturally, which left spinach.  However, I didn’t want it to taste like spinach, so I also added caramelized onions and garlic.

The bread turned out exactly as I hoped.  Green, as portion bread should be, but also very flavorful, without a hint of spinach flavor.  In fact, the kids asked if I had food dyed the bread.  When I revealed that I did not use food dye, Spud proclaimed, “I knew it!  There are vegetables in here!”

Hahaha.  Nevertheless, the bread was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Star Wars Portion Bread (Spinach & Caramelized Onion Bread)

Spinach & Onion Mixture
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (packed) fresh spinach
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water

¾ cup warm water (around 110 degrees F)
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
3 ½ - 3 ¾ cups all purpose or bread flour

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and stir until coated.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize, turning a light amber color.   Add in the garlic and spinach.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, and spinach is wilted but still bright.  Remove from heat.  Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.  

Once cooled, move the spinach mixture to a blender.  Add the olive oil and water and blend until smooth.

In the bowl of stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and sugar.  Once the yeast blooms, add the egg, salt, 1 ½ cups of flour, and the spinach-caramelized onion mixture.  Mix with the paddle attachment until smooth.

Switch to the dough hook and gradually add 2 cups of flour.  Knead with the dough hook on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of bowl.  If the dough is sticky, add the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple times to form a smooth ball.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover lightly with plastic wrap.  Put in a warm place to rise until the dough is light and doubled; about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Punch the dough down.  

Cut the dough into 2 even pieces.  Bring the edges of the dough down to the bottom and pinch tightly.  Place the loaves, seam side down, onto a baking sheet.  Cover the tray with a damp towel and allow to rise until the loaves feel soft and light; 20-30 minutes.

Place into the preheated oven and bake for 25-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Move to wire racks and cool completely.