The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spinach Feta SD with 30% Sprouted Popcorn

Elsie_iu's picture

Spinach Feta SD with 30% Sprouted Popcorn

In my previous toasted popcorn SD post, dabrownman offered the suggestion of sprouting popcorn to soften the grain. What a brilliant idea: sprouted grains always have superior flavour!



Spinach Feta SD with 30% Sprouted Popcorn


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Sprouted toasted popcorn flour

60g        20%       Kamut flour


For leaven:

10g      3.33%       Starter

40g      13.3%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

40g      13.3%       Water


For dough:

260g     86.7%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

145g     48.3%       Whey

106g     35.3%       Water

90g          30%       Leaven

5g          1.67%      Salt



60g         20%       Crumbled feta cheese

30g         10%       Fresh baby spinach



305g      100%       Whole grain

296g     97.0%       Total hydration



Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 40g for leaven. Soak the rest (I got 35 g) in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven, salt and soaked bran to autolyze for 15 minutes. Fold in the reserved ingredients then knead in the spinach and feta cheese at the 15 and 30 minutes mark respectively. Ferment for 1 hours 30 minutes longer.

Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes. Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.


Since toasted popcorn flour is pretty sweet already, I guessed that sprouted popcorn flour can only be sweeter. Therefore, I upped the amount of whey in the formula and incorporated some feta and spinach for some tanginess and grassy flavor. This combination turns out great.



The crust is on the thin side this time. It didn’t develop a lot of blisters but it’s nicely crispy. The crumb is dense but not really unpleasant. It has a moist and mochi-like texture. Though the spinach and sprouted popcorn might have played a role in this, I believe the main culprit is the white wheat used. For some reason, flour milled from Breadtopia’s white wheat berries produces very weak dough. Gluten couldn’t develop properly whenever it is used. This has happened to me for many times already. My friend, who ordered the wheat with me, encountered the same issue. Does anyone notice this problem with Breadtopia’s hard white wheat berries?



Mushrooms and sugar snap peas pesto linguine with pan grilled pineapples, cherry tomatoes and honey glazed salmon


Italian seafood stew, balsamic glazed brussel sprouts with bacon and cilantro parmesan pesto stuffed chicken roll



Two Japanese dishes


Lotus roots, garlicky green beans, bean sprouts, eggplants, tofu skins & eggs sweet potatoes noodles and Korean fried chicken with short grain rice


Leek & white wine carbonara (what?) with radishes, pan grilled leeks and sausages



dabrownman's picture

Feta, spinach is my new favorite popcorn flavor from now on!  If your white wheat berries are the soft variety rather than the hard variety then the gluten will be much lower.  Soft white wheat is used for tortillas rather than bread and hard white wheat is used for high gluten flour - quite a difference.  I just want to toast this bread and eat it plain!  What a fine combination.  Cheese and spinach is also a favorite bagel combination too:-)

All the food looks terrific as well and the photography is first rate. Well done all the way around.  Glad the sprouted popcorn worked out too!

Happy baking Elsie 

Elsie_iu's picture

I never buy any variety of soft wheat. The hard white wheat flour feels really unusual so I'm thinking about using it for pancakes only...The strands are really short I'm positive even soft wheat would have produce much more extensible dough.

Feta and cheese bagels would definitely be delicious! Might be a great switch-up for my favourite bagel flavour: arugula & smoked salmon with lemon juice, black peppers and some kind of cheese. I can imagine how feta and spinach popcorn can be made: powdered dried spinach tossed with freshly popped popcorn and crumbled feta :)

You make me giggle by saying that my photography is "first rate". I'm glad you didn't see my hands shaking when I'm taking those pictures with my cheap phone...

Sprouting popcorn took longer than I expected. The radicle only showed signs of emergence after nearly 2 days. It was worth the wait though. Thanks for the idea! Glad you like the bread and food!


DesigningWoman's picture

Great flavor combination, lovely food -- and I'll have a couple of portions of the eggplant thingy, please 😀

Enjoy it all!


Elsie_iu's picture

Stir fried sesame Korean sweet potato noodles with eggplants or the Japanese miso eggplant enoki mushroom saute? Or you want both? :) 

I finally figured out a way to preserve the beautiful colour of eggplants! There's only one rule: never let it come in contact with water! They looked perfectly fine when I was stir frying them in oil but once I poured in some liquid, their skin began to turn brown instantly. I'm not sure whether the water enabled oxidation of anthocyanins (the purple pigment) by polyphenol oxidase, or the water soluble pigment leaked into the water... Either way, I'll never stew eggplants anymore. They're not going close to any liquid until right before I serve it.

Thanks for the compliment, Carole! 

DesigningWoman's picture

that there were two! I was reacting to the eggplant-tofu-skin mélange. But if there's more eggplant hiding anywhere else, I'm in!

I feel your pain about eggplant changing color: those beautiful, long, skinny Chinese eggplants with that bright violet hue, graffiti eggplants, white eggplants -- they all just go brown, even when I just rub with olive oil and oven-roast them. Most frustrating.

Looking forward to your next creation!


Elsie_iu's picture

The skin always turns brown in the oven, no matter how much oil you rub it with... Unless you're cooking things like stuffed eggplants or eggplant Parmesan, it's better to turn to pan frying instead. To speed the cooking process up, I like to salt it first to draw out part of the water. This also helps to season it: bland eggplant is the next worst thing to under-cooked eggplant. I've never had white eggplant but I can definitely feel you frustration when its pure white skin transforms to an unappealing brown colour :(

There's another eggplant side dish in the pink bento box. It's right next to the tofu skin sushi. I figure that you probably wouldn't get along with my mom very well since she loves eggplant as well. You two will be fighting over the last eggplant!