28 August 2011

Roasted Tomato Bread, and a sandwich

I suck at baking bread. It's really not my strong suit. I'm good at quick breads, but yeast, oh crap. We're not friends. But surprise of surprises, I made a loaf that wasn't too dense, too dry or too wet. Victory is finally mine!

I have such a passion for the tomato, and since the good stuff only comes around once a year, I just buy and buy and buy them whenever I see them! My kitchen is experiencing a tomato explosion, so I'm looking for new ways to enjoy my favourite fruit. Enter: tomato bread. Oh my. It warms my heart.

After I made a whole bunch of salsa, I had a big bowl of tomato guts that I didn't really want to throw out. I figured there had to be a good use for them. For sure I could use them as the liquid in a bread, right?? It worked! I added a few roasted tomatoes because I wanted some additional tomato flavour in the loaf. It was an all-day-long adventure, but totally worth it. If you don't want to use tomato guts, just scale back the flour a bit in the recipe. Easy stuff.

The bread is really nice and so good for sandwiches! I coated some tofu slices in plain breadcrumbs using a vegan egg substitute of cornflour* + neutral oil + a splash of water. This totally worked and is my new favourite stick-breadcrumbs-to-stuff-without-wasting-an-egg trick. I pan-fried the tofu with a little olive oil, then stuck it in a sandwich with a sliced tomato, cream cheese (not vegan, oops) and wholegrain mustard. Perfect!

*note to American readers: "Cornflour" is the British term for "cornstarch". Same thing, different name.

Roasted Tomato Bread
I was inspired by this recipe, but ultimately adapted a sandwich bread recipe from Scraping The Skillet instead.

175ml (3/4 cup) water
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup white bread flour
1/2 cup malted brown flour

3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup white bread flour
3/4 cup malted brown flour
3 roasted tomatoes + leftover tomato juice/guts/seeds (I had about 1/3 cup)

Stir together first 6 ingredients and allow to ferment at room temp for 3-4 hours. While you're waiting, roast your tomatoes in a little olive oil.

Stir down (air will come out) and add remaining ingredients.

Knead 5 minutes on floured worksurface. My dough was really sticky so I added more white flour as needed. Allow to rest 5 minutes. Knead 5 minutes more (I forgot this part, oops. Still good!).

Place in oiled bowl, turn over to coat, cover with tea towel and rest in warm place for 1 hour to rise. Dough should double in size.

Remove from bowl, push air out and flatten into a rectangular shape. Fold in thirds, pinch ends together, and place in bread tin (or on a baking sheet) seam-side down. Allow to rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 175C (350F) for 45-50 minutes, until a tap on the top sounds hollow.

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