tomato onion herb bread

March 11, 2012

vegan bread, onion bread, savoury bread, vgourmet, ruth richardson

Tomatoes, onions, and herbs have always come together in a happy marriage. In this recipe they provide the building-blocks for a savory, versatile loaf topped with some smoked sea salt to provide additional depth of flavour. Any breadbasket would welcome a few pieces of this bread for the dinner table. It’s also great as a mid-afternoon snack, in the kids’ lunch bag, or some have even been known to eat it for breakfast.

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup hot water

4 tbsps olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

thyme and basil, chopped finely

2 tsps sea salt

1 lb fresh tomatoes, approx 5, chopped

1 cup whole wheat flour

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 1/2 tsps active dry yeast

2 tbsps sugar

course smoked sea salt

Pour hot water over the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Set aside and let soak for 1/2 hour or so.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsps of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add chopped onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook the onions until they are soft and golden brown. Add the chopped herbs and sauté for another 1 – 2 minutes stirring often until the herbs are mixed in and you can smell the amazing aroma. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Put the skillet back on the burner on medium heat, add the chopped tomatoes with their juices. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until they are tender and the liquids have boiled down. It should be slightly thickened and resemble a chunky sauce. Add the soaked sun-dried tomatoes with their water, 2 tbsps olive oil, and 1 tsp salt. Set aside and let mixture cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups white flour with the yeast and sugar. Mix well. Add the tomatoes and liquid and mix well with a wooden spoon. Continue to add the rest of the white flour bit by bit until the batter is thick and elastic. Add the cooked onions and herbs. Combine well but don’t over work the batter. NB: You should have a sticky soft batter. This is not a dough that you knead but more like a stiff cake batter.

Oil a 9 x 12 rectangular baking pan with some olive oil. Spread the batter into the pan making sure to get it in the corners. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt. Cover, set aside, and let it rest until the batter rises to double its size, about 45 minutes.

Bake the bread in a pre-heated oven at 375F for 35 – 40 minutes until lightly browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Let the bread cool on a rack and then serve.

 

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