Monday, 20 February 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Bread

Hi.  I'm back.

It's been a rough week with not so much cooking, or at least not very delicious cooking that I felt deserved to be put up on Happy Belly.  Anyway, I'm over that now, and I've got 9 days for 9 more posts for February!  Challenge accepted.

So my come back will start with a nice sun-dried tomato bread.  I'm starting to get the hang of bread making.  I love how versatile it all is.  Every bread you make will be different, even if you follow the recipe to every detail.  It doesn't matter if it's a little too much flour, a little too much water, not enough resting time.  You always end up with a different result, you just have to keep trying until you know what you want.

I like crusts.  And if you're sensible, you should like nice crusty bread as well.

-Start off with a very hot oven and bake it for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat down for the rest of the baking time
-Keep a tray of water at the bottom to create steam
-Spray the dough with some water, or brush with some egg white, before putting it in the oven
-Baking stones! Oh I need one.  BUT I just got a beautiful cast iron pan and I think that'd work wonderfully.  Simply put the cast iron pan/baking stone in the oven and preheat it along with the oven.  Put your unbaked bread on top and you'll get a lovely crust at the bottom as well!

650g strong white flour
7g active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
450ml warm water
200g sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

Mix the dry ingredients together then add the oil and water, you may need more or less, just add enough to form a soft dough.  Knead for a good 15 minutes and put in an oiled bowl.  Cover with cling film, leave it to a warm, dark place and let that baby rest for an hour or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 250C.  Fill a tray with water and put it at the bottom of the oven.  Take the dough out and gently knead in the sun dried tomatoes.  Form it into an oval-shaped loaf, place on an oiled and lightly floured baking tray and put it in the oven.  Bake for ten minutes before lowering the temperature down to 180C and bake for a further 35-45 minutes.  Tap it and if it sounds hollow, it's done :)

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