Just as the last of the snow melts, chives begin peeking from the earth in our backyard garden. This is a lovely thing because buying them at the grocery store in those tiny plastic containers for three dollars a pop gets really old after awhile. But a chive lover does what she must…I would be hard pressed to go without them entirely during the winter months. Their yearly return is a joyous occasion that marks the beginning of the growing season and just a little more money in my pocket as I can cross “tiny container of fresh chives” from the weekly grocery list.
Once the chive plants are big enough to feel abundant, and I feel that I can snip away at them with abandon, I make this delicious bread. It is about as simple to make as a yeast bread can be and comes together in no time. The combination of rich ricotta cheese and fresh chives creates a tender, lively bread that is perfect for smørrebrød topped with delicate spring ingredients. It is also particularly good toasted for breakfast and spread with salted butter.
There is something so reassuring and comforting about returning to a seasonal recipe at the same time every year. It serves as a gentle reminder of the reliable rhythms of the earth and the cycle of the seasons. Yes, it was a long winter. But spring is here and it’s time to make Chive Ricotta Bread again, thank goodness. If you are lucky enough to have a surplus of chives in your life at the moment, I encourage you to give this easy bread a try. I guarantee it will be something you look forward to each spring as the chives make their long-awaited reappearance.Print
Chive Ricotta Bread
A tender, lively bread studded with fresh chives. Perfect for spring!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes + 1 hour and 45 minutes rising time
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf 1x
- Category: breads, spring, chives, smørrebrød, lunch
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: Nordic, Scandinavian
1 cup warm water (just warm to the touch)
⅓ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups bread flour
1 cup spelt flour (or an additional cup of bread flour)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
½ cup chopped fresh chives
Place all ingredients in the work bowl of stand mixer. Attach the dough hook and mix on low until dough begins to come together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Increase speed to medium and knead for 3-4 minutes or until dough is soft and slightly tacky (but not sticky) and clears the sides of the bowl. You can also mix and knead the dough by hand but it will take longer.
Remove bowl from mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and set dough aside to rise at room temperature for 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Transfer dough from the mixing bowl to a clean work surface. Pat dough into a rectangle that is approximately as wide as the loaf pan (9 inches). Working with the side closest to you, roll the dough away from you creating a cylinder shape. Tuck the ends under and pinch the seams together. Place the loaf, seam side down, in the prepared pan.
Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and set aside to rise until the dough is about 1 inch above the loaf pan, about 45 minutes (the time will vary depending on the temperature of you kitchen).
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Once dough has risen, slash the top of the loaf decoratively with a sharp knife or lame. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 190 degrees F.
Remove from the oven and carefully tilt the loaf out of the pan and onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before serving. Store any leftover bread in plastic wrap at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Adapted from the Spring 2016 issue of Sift Magazine, a King Arthur Flour Publication
Keywords: bread, ricotta, chives, spring, smørrebrød