This Savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek recipe is a delicious and colourful twist to the traditional authentic Tsoureki. Flavoursome Feta cheese with spinach and leek in colourful fluffy and stringy braids. Colourful and smart way to incorporate vegetables in a loaf to get your children enjoy vegetables!
What is this savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leeks?
The idea for this savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek came about whilst preparing my Greek Mini Two Tone Cocoa Tsoureki with Syrup (Easter Bread) and Greek Marble Tsoureki (Chocolate Easter Bread). I wanted to combine the traditional fluffy and stringy interior of Tsoureki with a savoury filling. I also longed for a unique and appealing look to it. So, I prepared a spinach and leek puree which I then added into the dough. The result was this delightful green coloured dough. Feta cheese is a perfect pair to spinach and leeks and will also give an extra savoury flavour.
How do I prepare this savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek?
To prepare this savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek start by preparing the spinach and leek puree. Sauté spinach and leek for a couple of minutes each, with the leek first followed by the spinach. Puree the sauteed vegetables in a food processor. Once a smooth paste is achieved, set it aside to cool. The puree needs to be of room temperature when added to the dough.
Continue by activating the yeast. To do that, in a bowl, add 100gr lukewarm milk, yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour Allow the yeast to work for 15 minutes. Once the yeast has been activated, in a bowl, add it along with 4 eggs, 380mls milk, 130gr of the spinach and leek puree and 70gr sunflower oil. Whisk the mixture and carry on by adding salt and flour gradually. Knead the dough either by hand or with the help of an electric mixer. Let the dough proof for 45-50 minutes in a warm place.
Whilst the dough proves, prepare the savoury filling. Whisk an egg with salt and add crumbled Feta cheese. Once your dough has proved, divide it into 6 equal portions and roll them in strands. Roll each strand to a rectangular shape of 10x40cm or 3.9×15.7 inches.
In the middle of the rectangular shaped dough, spread 2 tablespoons of the filling. Make sure the filling does not reach the borders of the dough. Leave enough space in the borders of the dough to brush them with water. Seal the strands and braid the dough.
Place the braided dough in a baking tray and let it proof for a second time, this time for 25-30 minutes. Brush them lightly with egg wash (egg and one tablespoon of water) and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek for 45-50 minutes at 170C or 338F.
What can I substitute Feta cheese with?
You can substitute Feta cheese with graded cheese, a semi-hard yellow cheese such as Gouda or Cheddar.
What can I do with the leftover spinach and leek puree?
If you do end up with leftover spinach and leek puree do not despair. You can use this spinach and leek filling and make mini baked spinach phyllo triangles. Simply have a look in my Mini Tiropitakia (Greek Baked Feta Cheese Triangles) recipe. You can also make a delicious omelette ; simply use too tablespoons of the puree with 4 eggs .
Savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek
- 22gr dry yeast or 80gr fresh yeast
- 1150gr strong flour (12-13% protein content)
- 4 eggs
- 480gr milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 70gr sunflower oil
- 130gr spinach leek puree
Spinach – leek puree:
- 1 small leek
- 200gr spinach
- 70gr sunflower oil
For the filling:
- 250gr Feta cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Sesame seeds (optional)
Spinach and leek puree:
- Start by gathering all your ingredients and kitchen utensils. Weigh up the ingredients and set them aside. Sift the flour.
- To make this delicious Savoury Tsoureki with Feta cheese, spinach and leek start by preparing the spinach and leek puree. The reason for doing this is simply that the puree needs to be of room temperature when added to the dough.
- Wash the leek and spinach under running water. Peel the outer leaves of the leek and dispose of them. Slice a small portion of the leek; approximate 10cm. Cut it along its length and then into half moons. Pat dry the spinach with kitchen paper.
- Pour oil in a frying pan and once the oil is heated lower the heat. Add the leek and sauté them for 3-4 minutes until soft. Now add the spinach and sauté for a further 3-4 minutes. In a food processor puree the spinach and leek. Set the puree aside to cool.
- In a saucepan warm up 100gr of milk until its temperature reaches 30C or 86F. In a bowl add the yeast, lukewarm milk, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour. Use from the sugar and flour already set aside for this recipe. Whisk them lightly for a 1-2 minutes. Cover the bowl with cling film foil and set it aside in a warm place for 15 minutes, until the yeast becomes activated.
- Once the yeast activated pour it in a bowl with 4 eggs, 380gr of milk, 130gr spinach and leek puree,sunflower oil. Whisk with a mixer for a couple of minutes. Carry on by adding salt and gradually the flour to form a dough. You can either knead the dough by hand, for approximately 5 minutes, or in the electric mixer. Once you have kneaded the dough, you will be rewarded by a lovely green dough.
- Cover the bowl with the dough with cling film and place it in a warm place to proof for 45-50 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- For the filling whisk an egg with crumbled Feta cheese and salt.
- Once your savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek has proved, oil your work surface and divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 40cm or 15.7 inches strand. With a rolling pin, flatten each strand to a create a rectangular shape of 3.9x15.7 inches dimension. Spread two tablespoons worth of the filling in the into each dough portion. Make sure you leave enough space on either side of the dough so that you can seal them. With a silicone brush, brush the borders of the dough and seal the strands. Braid the dough.
- Place the braided savoury Tsoureki loaves in the baking tray and let them proof for a second time for 25-30 minutes in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 170C or 338F .
- Once the braided dough have proved, brush it with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds. Bake this savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek at 170C or 338F for 45-50 minutes in the middle shelf of the oven.