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Adventures in bread: roast garlic, rosemary and sun-dried tomato

In my last bready-bread-bread-bread post, I showed you a sexy in-progress shot of some roast garlic, rosemary and sundried tomato bread I was a-rising. Didn’t show you a finished photo, though, did I? Well, because I love you, blog, I made the bread again just so I could photograph it for you.

Crunchy crispy crust. Alliterative and delicious.

Well, that’s mostly a lie. Fact is, while I was typing up my notes on that bread I got to thinking about how awesome it was and just had to make some again. Really good stuff. I doubled the amount of flavouring I used, and that made a huge difference. Same recipe, more showboating:

Last time, I tried the plaited loaf and it was beautiful, so I had to do it again. But the rising dough was mega-ugly this time: the thing about working oil into your dough is that it makes it slippery and this can case tears in the outside skin of the raw dough when you’re handling it. So it looked all shredded up and greasy and did not delight the eye. But once it was in the oven…ugly duckling: beautiful swan; funny-looking dough…

fatplaitz!

…crunchy curvaceousness.

Last time I made this bread, I tried to make a pullapart: I divided up the bits of dough, rolled them in the flavourings, and squooshed them back into the loaf tin for the final rise. Where they promptly pulled a Terminator-style remerge and turned back into a loaf. A springy, sliceable loaf! Delicious! But not a pullapart. Not quite a fail, but a win in the wrong direction. This time, I stretched out the dough and piled the fillings on, plus plenty of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, then rolled it up like a Swiss roll. A few more twists and tucks and that sealed the fat roll of dough up. Into the loaf tin it went:

Unplaited but full, full I tell you, of FLAYVA.

Which came out looking a bit like a bus. A bus with a bobble on its head. A delicious, garlic-scented bus…from here, the metaphor gets too weird to be palatable, so I’m letting it go.

Normally one is supposed to wait until the bread is fairly cool before cutting: pressing down the way you have to when cutting isn’t good on a crumb that is still moist and warm and soft. Squashes it right flat, it does. We didn’t care. There was blue cheese and balsamic vinegar waiting and the smell was driving us to delirium. We cut early. You can almost hear the bread’s outrage as it was forced to yield its soft, heavenly secrets of tomato, rosemary and garlic:

A bread with attitude, lording over my camera...

I am not a photographer, nor do I play one on TV: these shots aren’t great because I wanted to put the camera away and eat my lunch. But you can see the chunks of deliciousness through the crumb. It’s also mega springy and soft, like a good pullapart should be, although slicing while hot has definitely squodged it down a bit. But fuck it: too tasty to be damaged by such superficialities.

...but maybe it's got a right to a 'tude.

It’s soft and pull-apart-able, and the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes has given it a crispy crust and a loose, slightly segmenty-dough with an unbelievable flavour. Ahh. Yes. You are right to be jealous.

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