I've a lot of photos to share about my trip, but it'll probably take me some time to look through, process and upload. It's okay, I have a handful of backlogs to clear - first up being these tomato basil bread I baked before I left for my vacation.
Anyway, I'm on a roll to bake more bread this year. I love bread (most carbs actually, but warm bread with salted butter is the best!), especially the artisan types. I'm not a big fan of normal white sandwich bread, but I'm not so much of a snob to refuse eating it all together. Sure, I'll eat it, but only if there's nothing else available.
I've gotten yet another bag of flour (sigh, I have tons of flour packs at home already - white, wheat, almond, self raising, bread, cake...) that I just couldn't resist. Not when it says 10 grain. I'm a big fan of anything grainy. If my kitchen cupboards aren't already bursting, I would have gladly bought the rye flour. And the buckwheat. Oh, you get the idea.
Give the loaves a break, they need to rest.
I shaped the dough into four portions, rather than two, but that's because I was making bruschetta appetizers. The bread turned out quite flat, in future, I would probably bake it with the original two loaves portion for a more substantial slice.
After the loaves have cooled, I sliced them thinly and topped them with a thin silver of brie cheese, and some roasted cherry tomatoes. These make quite good appetizers for any meal I reckon.
I have some more sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge. I'm so gonna make these again soon for lunch sandwiches in the coming weeks.
Tomato basil bread (adapted from The Easy Way to Artisan Breads & Pastries)
320g (3 cups) bread flour
42g (1/2 cup) 10 grain flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 tbsp instant yeast
2/3 cup tomatoes (about 2 small tomatoes - skins removed, pureed)
a handful of sun-dried tomotoes, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup water
2 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the above ingredients (except salt) and using the dough hook, mix at low speed for 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, slowly add in the salt and continue mixing for 10 minutes at medium speed.
Transfer the dough to a large floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rest for 40 min - 1 hour.
Take the dough and place it on a floured work space and flatten with palm to remove air pockets.
Divide the dough into two portions and shape into long ovals.
Carefully transfer the dough to a floured kitchen towel, cover with another kitchen town and let rise for another 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 215C.
Bake for 20-30 minutes (depends on number of loaves as you shape them), or until browned on top and a knock on the bottom produces a hollow sound.
Grilled cherry tomatoes
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, rinsed, dried and halved
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 210C.
Place the halved tomatoes in a bowl. Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat thoroughly.
Spread mixture onto an aluminium foil lined baking tray, bake in oven for 15-20 minutes till cherries are slightly browned. Remove, cool.