I was inspired to make this scrumptious and visually stunning appetizer when I saw a post on a breadmaking site. I searched the internet for a recipe and found one that didn’t work. However, after a few changes and modifications, I was able to create a delicious stuffed Sunflower for a friends lunch party.
You can make the dip the day before. Which I did, since my toddlers don’t allow me a lot of time to cook. It was super easy.
First thaw out 10 oz of frozen spinach in a colander. Squeeze out the excess liquid.
Drain your artichoke hearts and gently squeeze each heart to remove the excess liquid.
Chop your spinach and artichoke hearts. Mix together along with 2 minced garlic cloves.
Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, shredded cheese, cream cheese and salt and pepper. You can add red pepper flakes for a bit of a “kick” if you like. Refrigerate until ready for use.
The first dough recipe I tried was horrible. It ended up resembling a hard beige rock. I created a simpler recipe using instant yeast that takes most of the difficulties out of making bread.
It’s best to use a stand mixer. In your stand mixer bowl, add all of your ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, mix until combined. The dough will look very wet – don’t panic.
Using your dough hook, mix the dough for another 8 minutes or so, or until it becomes smooth, elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You should be able to spread the dough thinly without the gluten strands breaking apart. Alternatively, you may hand knead the dough.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it around so all sides of the dough are greased. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in your cold oven with the light on.
Wait for the dough to double in size. This will take about one hour. After it’s doubled, remove it from the oven and punch the dough down to remove the large air pockets.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and cut in half. Form each half into a ball. Flatten the balls into disc and roll out. Roll the first ball into a circle slightly bigger than your dinner plate. Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper so that you may easily place it onto a baking tray later.
Use a small cereal bowl to mark a circle in the middle of your dough.
Scoop your dip into a mound in the circle. Make a ring of dip around the edges of your dough circle leaving one inch on the edge to seal the dough.
Roll your second ball of dough out slightly larger than your first ball to accommodate the dip. Cover the dip with the second dough circle. Press down around the dip, from the center out. (I used the cereal bowl again to shape the dough around the center dip). Press down on both sides of the dip ring (inside first to avoid trapping air).
Seal the edges of the circle using a fork. Press down on the edges with the fork tines to seal. Trim.
Cut slits in the dough almost to the edge of the center dip. First cut at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock.
Cut each section in the middle to form 8 slices. Then cut the 8 slices in the middle again to form 16 slices.
Twist each slice 90 degrees and press down on the ends of the petals.
Beat together 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp. milk to form an egg wash. Brush over the top of the sunflower.
Sprinkle poppy seeds and sunflower seeds over the center of the flower.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the dough in the center of the flower is done.
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- 10 oz frozen spinach
- 14 oz can artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 cups parmesan and romano cheese shreddedf
- 8 oz cream cheese
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste optional
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 envelope instant yeast 3/4 oz
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 cup water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp milk
- poppy seeds
- sunflower seeds
You can make the dip the day before and store it in the fridge until you're ready.
Thaw and drain the spinach in a colander. Squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop.
Drain your artichokes and gently squeeze each artichoke heart to remove the excess liquid. Chop.
Mix together the chopped spinach, artichoke heart and minced garlic.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Place all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Mix with the paddle attachment until thoroughly combined.
Change from the paddle attachment to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for about 8 minutes or until dough comes together, becomes smooth, elastic and stretches easily without breaking.
Place dough in a greased bowl and turn dough around to grease all sides. Cover bowl with a damp tea towel.
Place covered bowl in a cold oven with the light on to rise. Wait for the dough to double in size. This takes about an hour.
Once doubled, remove dough from the oven and punch it down to remove the large air pockets.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into two equal portions. Form each portion into a ball.
Roll out first ball until it is about 2 inches wider than a dinner plate. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper for easier handling.
Mark a circle in the middle of the dough using a cereal bowl.
Fill the center circle with dip.
Create a ring of dip around the center circle leaving 1 inch on the outside to allow the dough to seal.
Roll out your second ball of dough so that it is slightly larger than the first. Place over first dough circle and dip.
Using the same cereal bowl, press down over the center pile of dip. Then press the dough together between the ring and the center pile. Then press down around the edges of the circle.
Seal edges shut using a fork. Press the tines around the circle edge to press the dough layers together. Trim the dough to a neat circle.
Cut the dough from the edge to within 1/2 inch of the center dip pile at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock.
Cut each section again in the middle to form 8 sections.
Cut each section again in the middle to form 16 sections.
Twist each section 90 degrees and press down on the tips of the petals.
Beat together the egg yolk and milk to form an egg wash. Brush over the sunflower.
Sprinkle poppy seeds and sunflower seeds on the center of the sunflower.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the dough in the center is done.