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Monday 5 November 2012

Baking For Beginners: Snippy Tomato Bread

Making bread has become SO much easier since I adopted a "no knead" method - a slight misnomer because you do knead it, but only for about a minute in total. No tedious, arm-knackering dough beating any more. So while this bread may take 3 hours from start to finish, your total work time is roughly 3 minutes. Time yourself if you don't believe me.

This is a very satisfying bread to make and shape - no boring loaf shape here, and setting about your dough with a pair of scissors is great fun. It ends up looking vaguely Christmas tree shaped, with the filling temptingly on view. Fill it with whatever you like - I've used sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary and this is based on an olive and thyme loaf. The final loaf is easy to pull apart and share (or eat yourself on a cold autumnal evening).

Snippy Tomato Bread

You will need:
  • 275g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 200ml warm water
  • 80g sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
Make it!
  1. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well and slowly add the water, mixing with a fork to keep it nice and loose. When it forms a soft dough, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Lightly oil your worktop, then knead the dough by holding it down with one hand, stretching it away with the other, and folding it back on itself. Make a quarter turn and repeat eight times. Put the dough back in the bowl and leave for 10 minutes, then knead again. Leave for another 10 minutes and knead one final time before leaving in the bowl for 45 minutes to double in size.
  3. Sort out the sundried tomatoes while you're waiting. Tip them out of the jar onto some kitchen roll and pat dry, then chop into small pieces. Line a large tray with baking paper.
  4. Stretch out the flour to roughly 40cm x 20cm. Scatter the sundried tomatoes down the middle third and sprinkle the rosemary over them. Fold the sides in to make an envelope, then turn it upside down and place on the tray with the seam underneath. Dust with flour, cover with a tea towel and leave for 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Using a kitchen scissors, snip the dough along both long sides, cutting in at an angle about every 3cm.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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