Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Sourdough Tomato Basil Bread

1-1/8 cups fresh sourdough starter
2 medium fresh tomatoes, coarsely
1-ounce coarsely chopped fresh
4 to 6 garlic cloves, sliced
   lengthwise into slivers
1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1-3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup warm water (if needed)
1 Tbsp. salt
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
   (optional for more tomato flavour)

  • Combine the sourdough starter, tomatoes, basil, and garlic in a large bowl. Stir in the whole wheat flour and most of the bread flour. Mix until roughly combined, then let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Add up to 1/2 cup warm water if the dough seems like it's going to be too stiff. (It will depend on how juicy the tomatoes are.) Alternatively, add more chopped tomatoes. The dough should be firm but not too stiff.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead in the salt and dried tomatoes. Continue kneading for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are incorporated and the dough is soft and smooth, adding more bread flour as needed.
  • Place the dough in a bowl. Cover and let it rise until it has doubled in size, 2-4 hours. You should be able to push a floured finger deep into the dough and leave an indentation that doesn't spring back.
  • Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, flattening gently to break up any large air bubbles. With a large knife, cut the dough into two equal pieces and shape them into rounds.
  • Lightly dust the tops of the loaves with flour and cover them with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let them proof until almost doubled in size, 1-2 hours. If you press a floured fingertip into the dough it should spring back slowly.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Bake until the loaves are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, about 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Cool.