Baking | Ricotta and Spinach Roulade – Yotam Ottolenghi

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”
Erma Bombeck

Ricotta & Spinach RouladeThe word Roulade originates from the French word “rouler” meaning “to roll”. Often more popular in the sweet version as a Swiss roll etc, I find a savoury version absolutely enticing. I found this recipe on  Design Sponge, whose post feed  I eagerly wait for. There is always something to grab the eyeballs – food, amazing DIY, sneak peeks, and creative ‘before and afters’ – always a mixed bag, and immensely inspiring.  Imagine my glee when I saw the Yotam Ottolenghi recipe on their list that day!

I ♥ the Ottolenghi philosophy – it’s refreshing!

Ricotta & Spinach RouladeOur food is familiar and straight forward, yet highly innovative. It is familiar because it is personal. It is made and served by a group of people who love preparing food as well as indulging in it, gorging on it, chatting about it endlessly. It is a way of life, somewhere between a healthy obsession and a bad habit we can’t kick.

YES indeed, Ottolenghi continues to charm. I hadn’t had enough of their first book, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, and along came the second – Plenty! Plenty is plenty full of savoury stuff, no sweetness, yet has met with rave reviews everywhere. The book’s on my wishlist, though I am yet to bake through the first one. It’s a dream to visit one of the Ottolenghi eateries in the London.

Ricotta & Spinach RouladeMade the ricotta 2 days in advance. I always make it at home from a simple Levobitz recipe that works with success each time. The bell peppers were roasted a day before as well, so there wasn’t much to do on ‘roulade day‘!  Was I pleased to see shiny and smooth dough? Oh yes I was. I don’t have a sturdy Kitchen Aid {sigh, another dream}, but  recently bought an electric hand beater which seems to be made of sterner stuff than my previous one that died. It came with dough hooks, so dough making is slightly simpler, and I almost got knocked off my perch when my eyes met ‘smooth and shiny’ dough. I kneaded it for a few minutes just in case! You can never be too sure of dough, can you?

Ricotta & Spinach Roulade - OttolenghiI like to use fresh yeast, and the dough had doubled in less than 30 minutes. Must be the yeast because the weather has really begun to cool down, so it certainly wasn’t the room temperature. It’s a HUGE relief when the yeast does its work! Rolling the dough was simple as can be too. Smooth and shiny is a lovely dough to work with. Tray lined with dough, and the layering and rolling was great fun too! Maybe I am finally getting the hang of rolling along length and breath! Maybe!!

Ricotta & Spinach Roulade - OttolenghiI divided the dough into thirds. Made a bigger roulade with 2/3rd dough, and a second one that was smaller. We are a family that loves our bread, and I thought one big loaf might not be enough, so I made a smaller one for the kids, which I baked for dinner. The Ottolenghi loaf on Design Sponge is more bready in the picture, more dough in the roulade. Mine was a much thinner lot of dough in the bread, but I think I prefer it like this. Very very nice.

Ricotta & Spinach Roulade - OttolenghiThe possibilities are endless. Ricotta and spinach {and mozzarella} were really really nice, though I passed the greens off as basil to the kids who still balk at spinach!! Above all, a great vegetarian option {if you don’t take into account the egg in the dough}. We had a little bit left over, and the kids had cold slices with dinner the next night … happily so! I daresay that the roulade will taste very nice with a chicken, mushroom and cheese filling too.

Ricotta & Spinach Roulade-Ottolenghi

On the side, I made French beans flavoured with garlic and chili oil. These beans are  inspired by  Chargrilled Brocolli with Chili & Garlic from the Ottolenghi cookbook. I julienned some red and yellow bell peppers, placed them in a big bowl, and threw the freshly blanched, drained French beans over them. Poured some garlic and red chili flake flavoured EVOO over this, added a dash of vinegar and tossed it all together! Made for a quick, nice side put together once the bread was baked and resting a while.

Ricotta & Spinach RouladeThat wasn’t enough, so I also made a warm potato salad, again an Ottolenghi recipe, this one from Plenty.  I don’t have the book, but I found the recipe on the Wednesday Chef. It’s a rather fetching salad, made with gently breaking freshly boiled potatoes, and adding regular yogurt, EVOO and a few others ingredient’. I skipped the horse radish, added some sea salt,  freshly minced garlic and a squeeze of lime. Mmmm… NICE!! I’ve made it before where I’ve added some chopped red onion, bell peppers and fresh basil. The whole lunch had very trademark Ottolenghi flavours!

Ricotta & Spinach Roulade-OttolenghiRicotta and Spinach Roulade
(serves 6)
Recipe from Design*Sponge
Adapted minimally from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe
Dough Ingredients
160 ml (2/3 cup) full-fat milk
20 gm fresh yeast {or 2 tsp dried active yeast}
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 whole medium egg
½ tsp salt
350 g {3 cups minus one tablespoon} plain flour
200gms homemade ricotta, well drained, grated
½ tsp salt
100 g spinach leaves
10-15  basil leaves
200 g mozzarella
3-4 red bell peppers, chargrilled, strips { tossed in 2 tbsp EVOO, and 3 cloves chopped garlic}
To Finish
2 tbsp milk {or 1 egg, beaten}
1 handful of poppy seeds
In a small saucepan, warm up the milk very slightly, just to about 30°C {barely warm}. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Set aside for about 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Add the melted butter, oil, and beaten egg to this and stir to mix.
Place the rest of the dough ingredients in a large bowl {or the bowl of an electric mixer}. Add the yeast and milk  mixture and work with a dough hook on slow speed for about 2 minutes. Increase to high speed and knead for another 7 minutes, by which point the dough should become a smooth, shiny ball { I did this with an electric hand blender with dough hooks for about 3 minutes, and was thrilled to see it come together smooth and shiny. I did knead for an extra minute by hand}.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl brushed with a little oil. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and put it somewhere warm. After about 45 minutes, once the dough has doubled in size, line an oven tray 30 cm x 40 cm (roughly 12 in. x 16 in.) with baking parchment. {You can make one roulade, or two as I did}
Ricotta & Spinach RouladeRoulade
Transfer the dough to a work surface dusted very lightly with flour and roll it out thinly so it reaches the size of the tray. Line the tray with the dough, pulling it right out into the corners. Cover with the tea towel again and leave for 30 minutes.
Once the rolled-out dough has risen significantly, cover it with the filling. Use a palette knife to spread the grated ricotta all over the surface, sprinkle salt and then scatter the spinach, red bell pepper strips, basil and mozzarella.
Carefully pick up one of the longer sides of the dough and roll and push it all up into a neat spiral log shape. Stand the log on the seam so it doesn’t unravel when baked. Cover the tray in the tea towel again and leave for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Brush the roulade’s surface gently with the milk and then scatter on the poppy seeds. Make sure the oven has reached 200°C and then put the tray inside. After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 160°C.
Continue baking for roughly 25 minutes. Don’t worry if the roulade breaks or cracks a little. When ready, it should have taken on a nice dark brown color. Stick a sharp knife inside to check. It should come out with some melted cheese but no dough.
Remove the roulade from the oven, allow it to cool down a little {or completely} and cut into thick slices. Serve immediately with a salad.

Ricotta & Spinach Roulade ♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

More savoury breads from my friends you might enjoy:
Olive Oil Bread with Rosemary and Walnuts
Stuffed Bread Braid with Feta, Fresh Dill, and Black Olives
Ciabatta ai Funghi
Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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  • 6 years ago

    Such a healthy combination……beautiful presentation as well

  • 6 years ago

    Beacause of your great review about teh book you got after the BC i bought them and love it too, now i think i will have to check out this new book, maybe i can ask for christmas present a early one 🙂
    Delicous looking bread.

    • 6 years ago

      It’s one I’d love to get too Fanila. The roulade reminds me of Christmas with the colours of the filling!

  • I know how difficult it must be to bake in India, ovens haven’t been around for long and some baking ingredients are difficult to find, but one wouldn’t know that from your blog.
    Gorgeous pictures.

  • I’m working my way through Plenty at the moment – it’s a heavenly book and I agree that the food philosophy is spot on. This sent me onto your amazing home-made cheese page – all I can say is Wow! I shy away from using ricotta because the bought stuff is so disappointing. I will make my own from now on (and this roulade would be a good start).

  • 6 years ago

    looks so so good deeba… this one i am def gonna try…

  • This looks terrific, I also have the first Ottolenghi book and I find it wonderful.

  • 6 years ago

    A wonderful roulade! So mouthwatering.



  • 6 years ago

    This roulade looks fantastic! Did I mention how much do I love spanich? I was telling hubby the other day about how I need a new recipe to make with spanich and here you are making one! 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Oh my! this roulade looks amazing! I am a huge fan of ottolenghi, this recipe is bookmarked!

  • 6 years ago

    Your dreams are my dreams too Deeba =) This reminds me of my long neglected Ottolenghi cookbook!

  • Krista
    6 years ago

    That is SO beautiful, Deeba! I love the poppyseeds all over it. 🙂 They would provide such a lovely, nutty crunch. The quote at the top cracked me up. SO true. 🙂

  • I’m such a fanatic about homemade breads, and I love the idea of stuffing them so that they become the star of the dinner table rather than just another side dish. I’m so impressed your spinach, ricotta (homemade, no less!!), mozzarella, pepper, and basil combination, which I can almost taste now. REALLY good stuff here, Deeba! Love it!

  • 6 years ago

    Dear Deeba this look awesome and delicious I love baking with ricotta! Nice pictures! xoxoxo gloria

  • 6 years ago

    Deeba about my post about chicken strudell is sonly oil (oil sunflower is a type) but is any oil. xxx
    any doubt tell me! have a lovely weekend

  • 6 years ago

    The colors would fit on the coming holiday season=) It have a Christmasly delicious look.

  • 6 years ago

    This is GORGEOUS!
    I have been putting off buying the Ottolenghi books because they don’t have the US metric conversions, and I am always fearful of converting them myself!

  • 6 years ago

    This recipe looks so yummy! I love using fresh yeast and squeal whenever the yeast works its wonders 😀

  • 6 years ago

    Hi Deeba……It is always refreshing to see what you are baking. The very sight of this Roulade is enticing. Feel like diving into the goodies :).

  • 6 years ago

    What a beautiful blog! Wow! I have Plenty and I will definitely have a go at this roulade having seen your version of it, though I am not nearly as professional as you 🙂 I might even try making ricotta too. As you can see Ottolenhi tweeeted your post so this is how I found you.

  • sameena
    6 years ago

    Hi Deepa,

    I just followed you…landed here sumhow…love baking…:)


  • 6 years ago

    Sheer food porn this lot Deepa, love your presentation & the Ricotta and Spinach Roulade sounds amazing, great flavours.

  • 6 years ago

    oola la they are vibrant and refreshing! just had spinach ricotta tortellini, loved it can’t wait try ur roulade 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    I should make more savory breads. A fabulous idea!

  • 6 years ago

    Wow Awesome pictures and droolworthy dish..what else I need. I really so much tempted Deeba !! Seriously I need a slice right away.

  • That looks divine Deeba! It’s also a dream of mine to visit the Ottolenghi restaurant. And I share with you a relief when yeast does its thing! There’s nothing worse than waiting for yeast to rise! It’s like waiting for paint to try 😛

  • I love Ottolenghi’s recipes. I have his book Plenty and I have cooked up a storm from it. Your roulade looks amazing, I love the flavors of ricotta and spinach. They remind me a bit of a Greek spanakopita. Your photographs are stunning!
    I wish you fulfill your dream of getting a KitcheAid mixer soon. I only got mine a few months ago and I can’t believe why I waited this long. Kneading is so much easier now 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    that is an incredible roulade, it looks positively delicious! Your images are stunning, I hope you sent some of them to foodgawker!

  • 6 years ago

    That looks absolutely amazing…I can so see this as a fancy picnic trakkeing meal! Most of all your photography is really well done, I should know! Great recipe, will bookmark this and try later!

  • 6 years ago

    A great post again and again. Beautiful fotos always! I have to make your ricotta soon. promise.

  • 6 years ago

    That looks so good Deeba! I’ve vaguely heard of Ottolenghi before but now you just made me want to have another cookbook… :))

  • Your roulade looks absolutely beautiful and your photography is stunning!

  • 6 years ago

    Your roulade looks amazing, and I love that everything is so fresh…Making some key ingredients the day before can be such a help.
    And the potato salad sounds delightful…love the yogurt there 🙂

  • bergamot
    6 years ago

    The roulade looks just delicious. So are the side dishes simple yet creative

  • 6 years ago

    I heart this recipe and I am spying on that wooden box too. Gives this post a wonderful rustic atmosphere.

  • 6 years ago

    Looks really delicious, beautiful and yummy

  • 6 years ago

    I still haven’t been to Ottolenghi, haven’t got the book or a KA either. Must put those to rights when I see this lovely recipe. That’s a whole meal in itself!

  • 6 years ago

    I don’t have Plenty yet, I only bought their first book after I saw the stuff you’d made from it after FBC but this dish looks a real winner. I feel quite depressed about my boring lunch now!!

  • 6 years ago

    Love the cheese and spinach combo, the Roulade looks delicious, just perfect for tea breaks.
    Lite Bite is gone from your Blog rolls after you shifted to your Domain name 🙁
    Hope I will make my place secure to this wonderful space on net again 🙂
    Best wishes.

  • 4 years ago

    Your Spinach Roulade looks so delicious. I like your blog and your photos, too. Good job, here!

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