Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tomato Bread

A couple of years ago, my brother brought some baked good home, something new to try. It was square like a cake. It was soft like a cake. It looked like a cake. A bite of the stuff revealed an amazing taste. It was light and savory, and slightly reddish in color. It was not a cake but a bread. It was tomato bread.

I wanted to make that bread myself. Occasionally, I would search, but leave it and forget about it. Yesterday, I saw too many tomatoes in the kitchen and once again searched for a tomato bread recipe. I found one, which I thought would yield something like that bread I had tasted.

This is my first attempt at making this kind of bread as previously I have tried pita bread and pizza only. The resulting bread is delicious. It has a different texture than the one I had mind. It was a bit dense. The crust of the bread turned out to be harder than I expected, but I think it can be attributed to the fact that I added some extra flour because I thought the dough was too sticky (first try, remember? ).

My mom suggested to add a little red chilli powder to the dough next time, which will give this savory bread a tasteful pop. This bread tastes good with butter or cheese, though I would prefer cottage cheese or cream cheese with a toasted slice of tomato bread. Finally, the recipe called for a mix of Italian herbs, which I desified and used coriander only. I made half the recipe only.

I kneaded my bread by hand, even though the recipe calls for it to be kneaded with an electric mixer and the dough hook attachment. The recipe is adapted from Daring Gourmet.



2 cups tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp honey
3 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 green coriander, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Place the tomatoes and drizzle with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Roast tomatoes in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until the skins collapse and brown lightly. Remove and puree the tomatoes.

In a bowl combine warm water, honey, instant yeast, and remaining 1 tbsp olive oil.

In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Make a well in the middle. Pour tomato puree, water mixture and corriander and mix with a wooden spoon. Then attach the dough hook to the electric mixer and mix the dough for 8 minutes. By this time the dough will be slightly sticky. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour (not too much as it will disturb the ratio of the ingredients).

Gather the dough into a ball. Lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Lightly coat the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, around  hour or so.

Spread the dough into an 8 inch rectangle. Starting at one end and make a roll from the dough, making sure the layers stick together. Pinch the seam.Place the dough, seem side down, in a greased bread pan. Loosley cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again until doubled in size, for around 30 minutes.

While the dough rises, preheat the oven at 180 C/ 350 F. Boil 2 cups of water and pour in a baking dish. Place the water on the bottom rack. Place bread on the rack just above the water.If there isn't enough space, place two small heat proof bowls of water in the oven on both sides of the bread pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top has browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve with butter, cheese or make a sandwich. It can be served hot out of the oven, or sliced,toasted and served later.

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