15g fresh yeast
350ml body-temperature water
350g strong white unbleached flour
150g fine semolina
2 teaspoons sea salt
350g fresh spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons black olives, pitted and finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg white, beaten with 2 teaspoons water for egg wash
handful of sesame seeds

The Italians eat lots of bread and are crazy about greens – this recipe combines them both. It’s the sort of thing they might eat at harvest time as an all-in-one meal (the Italian equivalent of a pasty or pie), making it a good bread to take on a picnic. Feel free to change the ingredients in the middle. The spinach is traditional to Naples and its environs, but you could use cheese or cooked vegetables, or a mixture of both.


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1.Dissolve the yeast in a quarter of the water in a large bowl.
2.Leave it to sit, covered, for 10 minutes until foamy.
3.Add the remaining water and stir well.
4.Mix in the flour and semolina, tablespoon by tablespoon, along with the salt.
5.Mix with your hands until a ball of dough is formed.
6.Knead vigorously for 10 minutes, then place in a lightly oiled bowl.
7.Leave for 1½ hours, covered, until doubled in size.
8.Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Wash and drain the spinach thoroughly, discarding any really tough stems.
9.Put the leaves into a pan without any additional water, cover and cook over a medium heat until wilted.
10.Drain and leave to cool. Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible, then chop really finely.
11.Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and sauté until soft.
12.Add the chopped spinach and cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the olives and some black pepper.
13.Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
14.When the dough has risen, punch it down in the bowl, then turn out and roll into a circle about 40cm in diameter.
15.Lift the dough onto a greased baking sheet.
16.Spoon on the spinach filling and spread it to within 2.5cm of the edge.
17.Roll the dough up tightly like a Swiss roll, then turn the ends under to seal.
18.Make random 1cm-deep slits on the top with a knife.
19.Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
20.Cover and leave the bread to rise for 30 minutes.
21.Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C.
22.Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 35 minutes until golden, then transfer to a wire rack. Cool well before serving.
23.Slice on the diagonal to reveal the wonderful swirl of the filling.

Cucina di Amalfi
by Ursula Ferrigno,
published by Ryland
Peters & Small,
photography by Nassima
Rothacker, distributed by, $49.99.