Sundried Tomato and Basil Bread
This delicious recipe for quick and aromatic bread looks like it must be very tricky to bake indeed. But - spoiler alert – it couldn’t be easier! Accompany with hot soup or make the best toasted cheese sandwiches in the world by layering with strong cheddar and toasting in a heavy bottom frying pan.
500g strong bread flour
7mg instant yeast
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
300ml warm water
1tbs olive oil
5 tbs sundried tomato paste
15 basil leaves, snipped into pieces
- Line the loaf tin with a single piece of a baking paper that fits crossways in the tin, covering the bottom and sides. (The shorter end ‘walls’ of the tin won’t be covered but it doesn’t matter.
- Place the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, salt and sugar) in the large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the basil.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the water and olive oil.
- Mix briefly with a wooden spoon then turn out on the work surface and knead for five minutes until smooth and springy. (Adding any dry ingredients left behind in the mixing bowl.)
- Roll the dough into a ball and place on the large flat plate and cover with an upside down large glass bowl. Leave for 45 minutes. (It doesn’t have to be left in a warm room, but don’t leave in it the coldest part of the house.)
- The dough will have puffed up considerably. Take the dough off the plate and flatten into a square measuring approximately 36cm square (14 inches square). You can use your finger tips or a rolling pin to do this.
- Dollop 5 tablespoons of tomato paste on top of the dough and spread evenly across the surface of the dough with a mini palette knife.
- Roll up the dough from one side the other like a swiss roll and roll the cylinder so that the seam is on the bottom.
- Using a large sharp knife, cut the swiss roll in half lengthways. Separate the two halves and rotate them lengthways so that the cut inner layers of dough and tomato paste are upper most.
- Pinch the two cut halves together and twist them together to make a sort of plait. Tuck the ends under and carefully lift the twisted dough into the lined tin. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Put the glass bowl over the tin and leave to rise for 45 minutes.
- Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, then cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, carefully remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.