I love tomato bread but could never seem to find some being sold anywhere. So I decided to try and make my own. After lots of experimentation I have settled into something that seems to work for me.

I start with ten grams of salt and two hundred and seventy millilitres of water. I actually use two hundred and seventy grams of water as the density of water is… never mind.

Then I add five hundred grams of strong white bread flour, or very strong white bread flour. I find that Canadian flour is the best and it really does make a difference. I have been told that the Canadian flour is healthier too as it has more selenium.

Then I chop up about two hundred grams of sun dried tomatoes. I use the ones in jars of oil. I drain them a little but let some of the oil stay on them. I have used the sun dried tomatoes from a deli a few times, but found that I had to dip them in oil as they were too dry and the oil add flavour and liquid to the bread mix.

Then I add ten grams of dried yeast before I put it all in the bread mixer set to a standard bread mix setting.

The bread mixer seems to be able to knead it better than I can by hand. It takes an hour and a half to finish its cycle. I leave it in the mixer for another half hour or so before knocking the air out of it and shaping it into two loafs.

At this point I turn our oven up to max; eleven on the Marshal scale. While the temperature is rising to ridiculous levels I cover the bread with a damp cloth and leave it for another half hour or so.

Then the kettle is boiled and when it is ready I put the bread in the oven then pour the boiling water into a pre heated bowl in the oven. Of course the bread maker can bake the bread but I find that it dose not taste as good. A good oven that can get to very high temperatures makes the bread taste better by far. The process can be helped by using an oven stone. They can be purchased for about twenty pounds. Alternatively, I used a ninety pence flag stone that I cut down to size with an angle grinder. It has roughly the same specific heat capacity as … never mind.

For our oven, eighteen minutes is usually enough to produce some nice bread. I call it disappearing tomato bread because that’s what it usually does. Today I made two loaves and tonight they are both gone without me even getting a chance to taste them!

Advertisements