Crusty Spinach Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Bread Rolls

Spinach Feta Sun-dried Tomato Rolls

Sometimes I’d love to skip dinner.

It’s beautiful in the evening just before the sun has set and I want to be on the patio enjoying the cool, dry air, watching the light against the the trees and houses change as the sun disappears into the Pacific.  I don’t want to waste one second of daylight at this time of year when the days are longest and sometimes, the temperature barely fluctuates between day and night.

Like right now.  It’s nearly seven and the sun isn’t quite ready to set.  Dinner is ready to prepare and won’t take all that long, but I’d rather be sitting in one of the chairs outside doing not much of anything.

All I’d need to complete the picture is some soft cheese — like burrata, perhaps some proscuitto, a handful of the sweet little sungold tomatoes my plant loves to produce, a nice crisp white wine, and good crusty rolls with a bit of something else added — like spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes.

If you’ve tried any of the recipes in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, then you know they’ll be good.  But do you know the secret to make them even more crusty?

I do.  And it works every single time.

Spinach Feta Tomato Rolls

Crusty Spinach Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Bread Rolls


1 c. fresh steamed spinach, chopped (see notes)

1 c. sun-dried tomatoes, julienned

3 egg whites

3 c. lukewarm water

1-1/2 T dry yeast

1 T kosher salt

2/3 c. feta, crumbled

1-1/2 T sugar

6-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Cornmeal to sprinkle


  1. Prepare the spinach first by steaming over simmering water until wilted.  Remove and when cool to the touch, squeeze in a fist or wring in cheesecloth to remove as much water as possible.  Set aside.
  2. Make the dough by mixing the yeast, salt, spinach, feta, tomatoes, and sugar in a large container.
  3. ***Add the egg whites to a large measuring cup, then measure the 3 cups of water to include the egg whites.  Combine with the spinach mixture.
  4. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon only until all ingredients are moist.
  5. Do not knead!
  6. Cover the container lightly and rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  7. If you don’t plan to use the dough immediately, you can place it in the fridge, lightly covered until ready for use, up to 7 days.
  8. To use immediately, sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough and pull off a baseball-sized piece.  The dough will be wet and soft, so sprinkling with a bit more flour may be necessary.  Shape into an even round.  Repeat until the dough is gone.
  9. Allow each ball of dough to rest on a baking tray covered with parchment and lightly sprinkled with cornmeal for 1 hour.
  10. Allow each ball of dough to rest for 1 hour on a baking tray covered with parchment that has been lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.
  11. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F about 30 minutes into the resting period and place a tray for water into the oven on a rack at the lowest setting.
  12. After the resting period, sprinkle the dough balls with flour and cut an “X” in the top of each with a pair of scissors by pinching into the dough.
  13. Prepare a cup of very hot water.
  14. Slide the baking tray into the oven and carefully pour the hot water into the tray set there earlier to create steam and quickly close the oven door.
  15. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the rolls are a rich golden brown and have firm, crusty tops.
    Cool on a baking rack before serving.

Spinach Feta Tomato Rolls

Spinach Feta Tomato Rolls

Spinach Feta Bread

Spinach Feta Bread

Recipe Notes:

  • ***I had to edit this post because I omitted the inclusion of the egg whites.  Apologies!  My server went down while I was writing, and evidently I left that important step out.  Thanks to Ailouron for noticing. Much appreciated!
  • This recipe was adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  The fabulous idea for using the egg whites in the water for the dough is theirs and can be found in this adaptation of their master dough recipe.  We’ve made it many times for holiday dinners and it’s truly the best recipe for rolls we’ve tried.  The only change I made for my adaptation above is to avoid brushing egg whites on the dough balls since flour is dusted over them before baking.
  • One batch of dough should make about 10 good sized rolls and 1 small boule depending on what you’re interested in.
  • I had quite a bit of spinach on hand one day and wondered whether there was such a thing as spinach bread, referred to “AB in 5” and lo and behold there it was. I should have realized it wasn’t all that unusual.
  • I had the julienned sun-dried tomatoes on hand so added them to the other ingredients and wanted to add chopped kalamata olives but sadly, didn’t have any.    The brand of sun-dried tomatoes I use comes in small bags, they’re pre-cut and quite soft — not the leathery ones sometimes sold in bulk.
  • Make sure you steam enough spinach to make a fully squeezed 1 cup — at least 1 lb. of fresh spinach.  It’s better to err on the size of steaming more than you think you’ll need because you can always save the excess for another use.
  • If you’ve never made AB in 5 dough before, it can seem quite different from making bread in a traditional way, but it’s easy to do.  In fact, my husband  enjoys making bread using their method, and he’s not a baker — let alone a bread maker.  Make sure your hands  are a bit wet before grabbing the dough from the container.  That keeps the process from getting too messy!  Don’t worry about whether all the rolls are exactly the same size, but if you have a scale, that can help.
  • Don’t skip the steaming part — it really helps the rolls form a great crusty top.  Once you’ve poured in the hot water, keep the oven shut.  No peeking until you’re well into the baking process — 20 minutes to check for doneness.
  • I do have a baking stone, but it’s a round pizza stone, so when I make rolls I use a baking pan instead.  They come out quite nicely.
  • Truly a wonderful recipe!

Spinach Feta Bread

For other versions of Spinach-based bread, you may be interested in the following:

Soul Curry:  Spinach Feta Bread

Baking and Books:  Rustic Spinach Feta Bread Recipe

The Knead for Bread:  Spinach Feta Bread Recipe

Simple Daily Recipes:  Spinach Feta Bread Recipe

Experiments of a Housewife:  Spinach Bread

The Way the Cookie Crumbles:  Spinach Bread


43 thoughts on “Crusty Spinach Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Bread Rolls

  1. They look soooo amazing!

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful post and recipes. I just got back from Food & Light with Todd & Diane last week and your pics always make me so happy to look at and inspire me.

    Keep us posted on the other event. Fingers crossed!

    1. Thanks, Averie. Definitely a great recipe. You’ve been to some amazing workshops lately so imagine you’re having fun applying what you’ve learned. Will absolutely keep you posted.

  2. Oh, boy – talk about a mouth-watering post! Got to try, and this time I mean to finally make one of the ABin5 ( or even HBin5) you’ve been talking about for so long. Thanks, and welcome back!

    1. Katrina, my husband and I have both been experimenting with the ABin5 recipes for a while now, and it truly does get easier. It’s worth flipping through the info on their website because there are lots of other recipes and great tips — like the egg whites. SO good.

  3. I’ve made quite a few breads from HBinFive but honestly, none have come out quite as pretty as this. I could just eat these for dinner…no other parts of the meal necessary!

  4. Your gorgeous- and I mean truly gorgeous- rolls look so temptingly fabulous they make me miss gluten/wheat flour. Like crazy.

    1. Karina, so happy you’ve stopped by — and thanks much! I can only imagine missing it. I need to experiment more with gluten free baked goods. Definitely a hugely different task!

  5. These look amazing, beautiful pictures! My husband and I are huge bread lovers and these rolls include some of our favorite ingredients. I cannot wait to try these–thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe!

    1. I’m with you on the favorite ingredients, Heather. They seem to show up in salads, pasta, and with breakfast here and there. Definitely satisfying. Have fun making the rolls!

  6. The sun is setting, and Im feeling slightly guilty for sitting inside rather then outside. You’ve inspired me. Tomorrow night, dinner, outside, on the patio. Spinach rolls may be involved as well 😉 Your pictures and recipe are AMAZING!

    1. It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? I definitely need some prodding at times. August is the best time of year for it around here. If you don’t have any of the Artisan Bread books, definitely give them a try. The method turns out some pretty tasty product. Have fun!

  7. I first looked at your pics on my iPhone but on a big screen, wow! They really pop. Please make these for Saturday, pretty please!!

    1. Haha! I hadn’t thought of it but I can certainly do that! Is it okay if I try some olives in them this time? I was dying to add that with these?

  8. Those rolls looks sooooo inviting! Could you please pass me one, no, wait make that two, no, wait, maybe three-four. Heck, could you pass the whole basket please!

  9. I want to make these as soon as possible. Question though: there are 3 egg whites in the ingredients that are not mentioned in the instructions. Do those get mixed in with the wet ingredients when making the dough, or are they for some other purpose I don’t know about?

    1. Thanks for noticing that! It figures that the trick for making the rolls crusty is what was missing. My host migrated my site this week and so it’s been up and down. It went down right while I was writing this and I thought I’d caught everything, but evidently not. So — put the egg whites in the measuring cup, then add the water to measure 3 cups total. Should be fine. Good luck!

  10. Kelly, gorgeous photos as always! I am with you savoring each moment of daylight. I need to go shopping for cheese. Thanks for the reminder ;-).

  11. Oh, these breads look so crusty! Just the way I like them. I have this book and haven’t used it in over a year. Time to pull it out and use it again. I definitely want to try these breads.

    1. Definitely crusty things — definitely take time reading the first part of the book which thoroughly explains the method. Without that, results can be a bit sketchy. They dough is usually very soft and wet — something people don’t realize.

  12. Kelly, I want these rolls so bad I’m almost ‘typeless’. I just want to stare at them and imagine them with burrata and prosciutto, or just on their own. They are beautiful, and the sun – dried tomatoes and spinach in them is just just…ok..typeless now lol

  13. I’d like mine with olives please! Kelly, these look wonderful with their enticing little green and red flecks of deliciousness. I need to check out that cookbook. I’ve considered it but passed it up for something else. As a bread lover, I don’t know why I haven’t nabbed it by now, but you’ve just convinced me!

  14. I am sold. Have not made bread for a month or so. Love how rustic it looks. I tried only pizza from AB in 5 from a friend’s book but I think I will get the book soon.

    1. A book definitely worth getting as is the giant plastic bucket to have dough on hand in the fridge if you’ve got the space to make a boule each night. So much fun!

  15. These. Look. Amazing. Not only do they look inherently delicious, but you styled them beautifully!

    One of these rolls, some burrata, a slice or two of prosciutto, some sungolds, and a glass of crisp white wine (or my favorite, Cotes du Rhone), sounds like the PERFECT summer dinner. I like the way you think 🙂

  16. This looks amazing! And you make it look so easy (although I know it’s hard work). You have great photos and instructions….I’ll update you when I’ve tried the recipes myself!

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