Stinging Nettle Bread with Parmesan & Preserved Lemon

image and recipe credit: Theresa Carle-Sanders

To increase the earthiness of your loaf, substitute up to 10% dark rye flour or 25% whole wheat flour. If you find yourself without a preserved lemon, the zest of 1 fresh lemon is a good substitute.


2¾ Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

¾ tsp  Table Salt

1 tsp Instant Yeast

1 Cup + 2 Tbsp. Water, warm

1 Cup Nettles, blanched

¼ Cup Parmagiano Reggiano, finely grated

2 tsp Preserved Lemon Rind, minced


In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle, add the flour, salt and yeast and mix on low speed until combined. Pour in 1 cup water, and increase the speed to medium until it forms a rough ball. Switch to the dough hook, and knead on medium speed for 6 minutes. Add the 2 additional tablespoons water as needed, until the dough is smooth and tacky but not sticky.

Lightly flour the dough ball and cover it with a clean, lint-free dishtowel. Rest for about 1 hour (or until doubled in size).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and flatten into a square about ½” thick. Spread the nettles onto the dough evenly and all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with the cheese and preserved lemon or zest, then press the toppings firmly into the dough using your fingertips.

Using a dough scraper, fold one third of the dough into the centre (like folding a letter), then fold the other third over top. Flour lightly, cover with a lint-free dishtowel and rest for 30 minutes.

Gently pull and pinch the ends and seam of the loaf together well, then turn the dough over so the seam is on the bottom. Gently place the loaf in a greased loaf pan and brush the top with milk. Cover the pan with a lint-free dishtowel and rise for about 90 minutes (or until doubled in size).

Preheat the oven to 450° F for at least 1 hour, and ensure the rack is in the bottom third of the oven. Put the pans into the oven, mist the inside oven walls with water from a spray bottle, and close the door quickly. Reduce the temperature to 425° F, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool directly on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf

Read more about nettles here.


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