In a medium-sized bowl, combine the water, honey, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk together and then sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to foam. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 cup of whole wheat flour and mix until combined. Set aside for 45-60 minutes or until it has a sponge-like texture.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and saute the onions and peppers until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach is soft. Pour the lemon juice over the mixture. Drain the spinach mixture in a colander set over a bowl to catch the drippings.
In a large bowl, add two cups of all-purpose flour. Make a well and pour the sponge mixture into the well. Knead for 10 minutes, adding enough of the cooking liquid to make it pliable yet firm (see notes). The dough will be very stiff but not craggy. Transfer to a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 hours. The dough doesn't rise substantially at this phase.
Add the diced cheddar cheese and spinach mixture together. The dough is still stiff and I found that pressing my fingers into the dough as you would with foccacia was helpful. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. Mix together quickly. Don't knead again. Form into an oblong loaf and place the dough on a well-oiled or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 °F. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 °F and bake for another 30 minutes. Cover last 10 minutes with aluminum foil if the bread gets too brown.
Cool the bread on the pan for 10 minutes and then remove it to a cooling rack to cool completely. This bread cuts best once cooled.
You may use up to 1/4 cup of liquid to get the dough pliable. I added water to the spinach mixture drippings to get 1/4 cup.Adapted from Emeril Lagasse Spinach bread with changes.
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.