So, if you are saying to yourself, “Wow, Spinach-Dip Pull Apart Bread sounds like an absolutely insane thing to make if you are trying to get lots of writing done and are actually in the mood for writing,” you are right.
But I really needed something to go with the cumin-coriander rubbed pork chops I was making, and I had everything I needed for the bread, which really did involve lots of spinach so it was almost like serving a vegetable. Or even two vegetables, because you serve the bread with a marinara sauce, so there you go, tomatoes.
The good: It was extremely tasty!
The insanity: It took about forty minutes to put together, forty minutes which I did not magically get back when I turned on the laptop. Might even have been an hour.
The bad: The biscuits were tough and stuck together too much. I will suggest what you might do about that in a minute.
I got this recipe from somewhere, but I don’t remember where, sorry.
NEARLY FABULOUS SPINACH DIP PULL APART BREAD
8 oz cream cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 C shredded mozzarella
1/4 C grated Parmesan
1/4 C mayonnaise
18 oz canned buttermilk biscuits, but the exact type was not specified, so I should say that what I used was two 7 oz cans of Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits, the ones that are ten to a can.
Marinara or other tomato sauce
Combine all the filling ingredients. The recipe then says to cut the biscuits in half horizontally to make two thin biscuits each. I thought that sounded nuts and just squished each biscuit flat. This probably contributed to making them tough, but in fact if I was doing this again, I would skip the canned biscuits entirely and use little balls of yeast bread dough, adding a second rise of 20 minutes or so after filling the balls of dough and putting them in the pan. That should also solve the problem and would not require anybody to cut canned biscuits in half horizontally, because jeez.
Okay, so whatever you are using, fold each bit of dough around about 1 Tbsp of filling and pinch closed, then form into a ball and place in a tube pan or a Bundt pan, or if you don’t have either, then a regular casserole dish with a big ramekin set upside down in the center to keep all the balls of dough around the edges (monkey bread style, I’m sure you can visualize this, right? You do it because if you just pile everything in a heap, the balls in the middle won’t bake through.)
Now, my baked biscuits stuck together and ripped in half rather than pulling neatly apart, so I would suggest dipping each ball of dough in melted butter before you put it in the pan. Nothing can really make the diet-unsafeness of this recipe worse anyway, because of the cream cheese, so try this with butter and I bet it will make the pull-apartness of the bread work much better.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool 8 minutes in the pan and turn out onto a warm plate or rack or whatever you like. Serve warm with marinara sauce. Try not to burn your mouth on the extremely! tasty! filling. There’s no reason in particular I need to issue that warning, because I’m sure none of you would be impatient enough to burn your mouth as I did.
This was well worth making, people, despite the issues. I would totally make this again, for company, only as I said, I would use yeast bread. Or, I would simply make this as a stromboli: roll out the bread dough, spread the filling on half, fold over and pinch closed, slash top, bake until the bread is golden-brown. You could add cooked crumbled sausage to the filling and I bet that would be tasty, too.
And yes, I still got quite a lot of work done, too. But I will get a lot more work done tonight because I won’t need to cook, AND OH LOOK there is another important secondary character I really like who needs to disappear. I believe the endgame is going to have to change quite a bit, more than I hoped, and taking out this character will add to that problem, but still, I think he needs to go.
I think I can legitimately call this whole re-write a learning exercise, because I am being forced to think so much about whether two characters should be combined into the same person, and whether a character can disappear and the one thing he really MUST do be taken over by another character, and why did I even have these two minor characters in the story in the first place because my God what a clutter, and on and on.
I should add — I don’t believe I made this clear in my earlier post — one of the original protagonists, at least one important secondary character, one important worldbuilding element, one important plotline are all likely to find themselves in a different world and a different story. That is another project for, perhaps, next year.