Tomato bread

Making bread is therapeutic and it’s not a new thing. Flavouring it breaks the monotony of everyday’s bread.

I give you today and flamboyant red tomato bread, one of my favourites but unfortunately impossible to find in this little town of Neustadt.
I made my tomato bread with a pre-fermentdough “levain-levure” which gives a better result. If you have a sourdough starter you will get the best results but I’m sure you already know that.
Tomato bread with butter and cucumber and a leaf of basil on the top
 I don’t have pictures of the other steps because this is just about making bread. Besides, most of the steps happened at night so even if I wanted to, the pictures would have looked aweful. So I spare you that part.

I’m submitting this recipe to yeastspotting.

Makes about 12 mini-breads (buns and co..)
Prep: 15 min – proofing and rising: 4 hrs to 48 hrs- Baking: 20 min
Levain-levure- Pre-ferment starter dough (minimum 24h ahead)

  • 170 g of white bread flour (I used here ½ whole-wheat and ½ white bread flour)
  • 100 g of lukewarm water
  • 7 g of dry yeast or double if fresh yeast

Baking day

  • Levain-levure (or about 200g of yesterday’s bread dough)
  • 1/2 tsp of dry yeast (I don’t add it if I plan to let bread proof for long hours)
  • 450g of tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and blended
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water (use when needed)
  • 450g of bread flour
  • 150g fine durum semolina or cornmeal
  • 60g of demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cayenne or chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of pepper, freshly ground
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme, use the leaves
  • 1 ¼ tsp of salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion medium-size, chopped and sautéed in olive oil or butter

  • Optional: chopped sundried or roasted tomatoes, chopped black olives
Tomato bread with cream cheese, omelette and watercress


Levain-levure, 24 to 48 hours ahead
Make a well with the flour, pour in water, add the yeast and give it time to be diluted. Mix the ingredients until you get a homogenous consistency. Cover with a cling film and keep in the fridge for 24h to 48 hours.
The other shorter way to make this is to leave the mixture over the counter for 12 to 16h, covered with a cling-film..
However, if you make bread everyday or every other day, think about leaving 200g of yesterday’s dough that would have been kept in the fridge, covered with cling film. This will be your starter for today’s bake.
Making the bread
Place the previous mixture into a large bowl. Add in the tomato juice, salt, sugar, spices, semolina flour and the flour. Combine and start kneading. You might need water which will add slowly while kneading until you get a smooth dough, humid but coming away from the kneading surface as well as your hands.
If you are using a bread machine, on program 8 “dough”, add the preferment dough after the 1st stop.
If you are using a KitchenAid-like machine or your hands, add the pre-ferment dough in the beginning.

If you are kneading by hand, knead for minimum 10 minutes (I suppose you will do it actively). At the very end of this process, spread in the roasted tomatoes, the onion, thyme and chopped olives.

Add a little olive oil to a bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Turn the dough over a few times to coat all sides of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until it doubles, which would be for 1 hour minimum.
It’s worth mentioning that I keep my dough in the fridge overnight then I shape it and let it rise for another hour before baking. This enriches the fermenting process. .
This blur picture is for a sandwich with tomato bread with smoked mackerel, mayo, watercress, cayenne

Shaping and baking

I shape the dough in the easiest possible way: I de-gas it by rolling it gently. With a sharp knife, I cut the dough – after slightly flattening it -into a sort of pavements or rectangles,. I press gently to get 1 cm thickness and have a sort of uniform shape. You may sprinkle flour or fine semolina on the top.
I place it on a baking sheet and cover it with a couple of tea-clothes for about 1h before baking it. 
You might shape it into baguette if you like or buns, or just make a loaf. You may make slight incisions on the top, always good.

20 to 15 min before baking time,  preheat the oven at 250 degrees C.
Slightly grease and dust the baking tray with flour. Place the bread and score it with a sharp tool.
Create some steam in the oven before you place the bread: place a large pan underneath the baking grill. When you are ready to bake, pour in a cup to 2 cups of water and mind your face: the steam that will happen straight there might harm you. Close the oven door as fast as you can to trap this steam.
Bake for approx 20 min at 220 degrees C .
This bread is still soft and tastes good even after 48h at room temperature, just make sure to cover it with a kitchen towel and seal in a plastic bag. 
A large container of sandwiches made of tomato bread and a few fillings, ready to go
A different shape and different “design” , convenient for burgers. I added cajun spice mix to the dough

Please check the different bread recipes such as these:

 And much more (in English and French).



2 thoughts on “Tomato bread

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