For the record it’s not that I have excess time on my hands. I find that the busier I am the crazier my ambitions. In a week where I literally could not have added one more thing to my plate the only natural thing for me to do was bake a Homemade Sourdough Bread Bowl and host a Friday Happy Hour Playdate. I rationalized there were at least 3 great reasons I needed to pile this on top of my already hectic week.
1. There would be drinks involved.
2. It’s better to drink in the afternoon with other parents than to drink alone.
3. There would be several people to sample my new CSA creations.
And there would be a house full of screaming children.
Hmmm…. Best to back up to #1 again.
Last week while baby and I hit the Traders Joe’s tasting corner, we came across a lovely new item- “Reduced Guilt Kale and Spinach Dip”. Brilliant idea. I’m super annoyed that I didn’t think of it first. Both the kids loved it with pretzel dippers. So I decided that before seasons change and I stop getting kale each week I needed to make this dip.
The homemade bread idea came about because a very nice co-worker of Hubs leant me her great-grandmother’s 100-year-old sourdough starter and I’ve been dying for an excuse to use it. The two items seemed like the perfect fit and since a dip in a breadbowl is more of a party fare I needed more people. My favorite excuse for a last-minute get-together is Friday Happy Hour Playdate.
Friday Happy Hour Playdate is a whole other post unto itself. Probably a cocktail post. Suffice it to say that it is possibly the best thing going in the playdate world and if you aren’t doing one and you have children you need to start one NOW. I like to serve lots of cheese and wine at these sorts of things but it is also really nice to have a great low-fat dip like this as well.
We tasted both the Trader Joe’s dip and my creation side-by-side. In the end, they were similar yet different, with my dip having a “fresher taste” and “less tang”. It seemed everyone preferred this recipe better. Even the pickiest of children seemed to occasionally walk by the table for another bite and there was many a pleased mom and dad at my playdate. Although, I have a heavy pouring hand so I can’t be sure of what exactly pleased them.
Spinach and Kale Dip
18 oz non-fat Greek Yogurt
1/4 C low-fat mayo
3 1/2 Tbl. Majestic Garlic (any herb flavor)
1 bunch Kale, greens only
1 bunch baby spinach
1/4 C. diced celery
1/4 C. diced carrots
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook kale greens and spinach in a non-stick pan over medium low heat with salt and pepper. I do this right after washing them and the excess water steams around them. When both are cooked down completely, chop and squeeze out all the excess water and put in a large glass mixing bowl.
To the cooled kale and spinach mixture add, 1/4 C. diced celery and 1/4 C. diced carrots.
In a separate bowl, combine one 18 oz container of greek yogurt with 1/4 C. low fat mayo and 3 1/2 Tbl. Majestic Garlic (see previous post for info). Whisk to combine.
Add the yogurt mixture to the greens and mix well to combine. Season again with freshly ground pepper and about 1/4 tsp salt. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve in store-bought or homemade sourdough breadbowl with pretzel dippers.
Homemade Sourdough Breadbowl
Bring starter to room temp
Add to starter:
½ cup of sugar
1 cup of plain flour or bread flour (not all purp)
1 cup of warm tap water
Stir the ‘sponge’ mixture but don’t worry about getting out all the lumps. Let the sponge sit at room temp for 8 hours. Stir every few hours. Use a glass or ceramic bowl (not metal) and a wood or plastic spoon. After 8 hours or so the ‘sponge’ will smell kinda yeasty and look a little bubbly.
Put 2 cups of starter back in the jar and back in the fridge. Use the rest for bread.
To the remaining starter add:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
½ cup of oil, (I like to use olive oil)
1 ½ cup of warm water
6-8 cups of flour
Using a stand mixer, add the starter and all ingredients except flour. Mix well with paddle attachement.
While the mixer is mixing, add flour 1 cup at a time, the dough will start to form, change to your dough hook and mix in flour until the dough climbs the hook. Transfer to a flour dusted flat surface.
Kneed in as much of the rest of the flour until you have a medium stiff dough then kneed about 30 more strokes.
Let the dough rest in a lightly oiled, covered bowl for about 8 hours. Keep it warm but not hot. It should rise to almost twice the volume. Divide your dough into bread loaves or rolls. (if your bread did not rise, your in luck because the dough in this form makes the best fried flat bread) Yep, let rise for 6-8 hours.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
This recipe made 1 large breadbowl, 1 loaf of bread and 12 “cloverleaf” rolls which are essentially 3 small balls of dough per muffin tin.