Sunday, 10 July 2011

More tests, and some bread

There's something compelling about sun-dried tomatoes. Maybe it's the fact they have the word 'sun' in their name, but they always make me think of lush Italian gardens and loggias with tables large enough to seat a huge, ebullient family as they help themselves to the colourful, fragrant and carefully prepared contents of beautiful pottery bowls; eating, talking and laughing all at once. So, finding some in the local deli I couldn't help buying a pack.

They sat around for a while, peeking redly from their cellophane like a bag of scabs. Then one day I thought to make bread to go with supper and spotting the tomatoes on a shelf decided to add them. I've had bread with sun-dried tomatoes in posh bistros and always enjoyed it.

I didn't have a recipe so I augmented Nigella Lawson's plain white loaf. First I chopped the tomatoes into little slivers, and added them to the water to reconstitute for ten minutes. Then, once the water had been added to the flour/yeast/salt (I use instant bread-maker yeast, it's great you just chuck it in!) I drizzled in three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. And then proceeded as usual

And here it is, a little dark on top, but none the worse for that, and wonderfully crisp of crust.

Inside it was soft and fluffy with a very slight cakey texture. The flavour of the tomatoes really did permeate the whole loaf, which, we thought, was a good thing.

I served it with cold meats, cheese, and salad.

I'm still not getting this picture thing right, but it's better. Alesa very kindly told me how to isolate each photograph with a bit of HTML code. That seems to have worked, but getting the text under, rather than to the right of, the shots is a real palaver, and so the whole thing seems no speedier than the way I was doing it before.
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

looks delicious

angryparsnip said...

Well, I am glad to say that, problems or not... the photos look delicious !

I have been thinking of making some beer bread... less than an hour from mixing, baking to eating plus no yeast. Must check out your instant yeast.

It has been rather hot in Tucson so one thinks twice before turning on the oven. The other problem is, the way some people desire chocolate I adore bread especially right out of the oven !

cheers, parsnip

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Eryl:
Absolutely delicious, we imagine, and perfect with the cold meat, cheeses and salads which you had with the 'sun dried tomato' bread. Perfect for a summer supper. But any homemade bread is always, we think, one of life's great luxuries.

We see no reason at all to apologise for your pictures which look very good and clear to us.

rochambeau said...

Hey Eryl,
My mouth is watering! Your bread looks luscious! Lucky you and family! About sun dried tomatoes. to me, there's almost a meat~like quality about them. I like them very much.

Happy Sunday~

Annie Boreson said...

That looks incredibly good! I would love to slide a little butter on top and eat it right now for breakfast or would you mind passing the cold meat, cheese and salad?

savannah said...

another good thing to try! thanks, sugar, for another great recipe. by the by, i did the pasta, pancetta and parsley yesterday, BUT added a twist via roasted eggplant slices and diced tomatoes. we were very, very happy with the results! xoxoxo

Eryl said...

Nursemyra ~ thank you.

Parsnip ~ I can imagine that switching on the oven when the temperature is in the hundreds feels like a bad idea.

I must search out a recipe for beer bread.

Jane and Lance ~ homemade bread really does feel like a luxury these days, where time tends to be much shorter than money, for most.

Constance ~ you're right, they are quite meat-like, these were rather jerkyesque in texture.

Annie ~ cold meat, cheese and salad coming up.

Savannah ~ roasted eggplant is one of my favourite things. I will try your tweaked version as soon as... XXXXXXX

Miss Scarlet said...

I wish I could cook.
My bread always come out looking like a sun-dried brick. Your pics look lickable.

Anonymous said...

The formatting thing may be a case of what browser you use.

Google chrome simply does not like to play the game when it comes to formatting images in blogger, for some reason.

I ditched it and went back to good old reliable firefox.

Annoying, isn't it?

Carole said...

Looks delicious. Every time you put any recipe up, I feel compelled to copy it. It won't be long and I'll have my very own Eryl cookbook.

Eryl said...

Scarlet ~ if there is ever a shortage of building materials your skill with bread will come into its own.

Denise ~ chrome's a nightmare for images, isn't it, I always use firefox to do the pictures too.

Carole ~ I love the idea of you having your own personal Eryl cookbook. Is this vanity or a desire to share, I wonder?

Pat said...

May God forgive you for that 'bag of scabs' It'll be with me all day:)
BTW yesterday I was served a Yorkshire pudding unlike any I have ever had before. It was similar to an inflated child's rusk - all dry and crumbly inside. What's going on?
As usual you ave created something yummy. Mr Eryl is the lucky one.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Good lord, I love sun-dried tomatoes. Is it proper to just eat them straight up? Because I've done that in the past and felt like I was violating some kind of law.

(Florida) Girl said...

I have yet to meet a sundried tomato I didn't like.

Stopping by from shewrites today and happy to find you.

Meri said...

I don't have your email address, but if you'll email me at the address on my profile page, I'll send you some texture layer files to get started. Do you have Adobe Elements or such to work with?

The Weaver of Grass said...

I use a lot of sun-dried tomatoes but I find it better to buy them in plastic pots in olive oil - they seem much easier to use that way. But I must say your bread sounds and looks delicious - might try it.

Re photographs - mine work at the top and arrange themselves - I daren't try any other method.

nick said...

Sun-dried tomatoes perk up all sorts of recipes. I love them.

Eryl said...

Pat ~ do apologise about that simile!

A dry and crumbly yorkshire pudding sounds absolutely horrid. I can't imagine how anyone could achieve that!

UB ~ you must be thinking of 'the law of unintended consequences', the concentration of fruit acids/sugars is probably tooth rot.

Florida Girl ~ lovely of you to come by, thank you.

Meri ~ will do that right now! I have a ton of Adobe stuff waiting for me to make use of it, though, I have to say, 'Elements' doesn't sound familiar.

Weaver ~ I love the oily ones, and you're right, they are softer so much easier to work with. These ones were really dry and sticky. Actually, I might try dropping the rest of them into some oil and see what happens.

Nick ~ the do.

Philip said...

That looks bloody lovely, once I got the image of scab bread out of my mind! You're on a real food thing at the moment. The photos are great. Do I spy a new writing venture? The Kitchen Bitch is a great title for a cookbook. Just saying.
Whilst I'm here I spot you have a new follower Bth from alittlelightinlondon. Go check out her blog (and her first ever story) - you won't regret it.

Eryl said...

Philip ~ I think I'm building toward a kind of 'generalising from the particular' memoir/study about food as social glue. Especially for people who find themselves away from home, or, even more interesting (to me) people of mixed race who don't really have a landmass to call home.

Thank you for pointing out my new follower; I'd never have noticed. I'll pop over and see her shortly. Must come and see you too.

Studio Khnoum said...

I've just gobbled up your last two posts and am currently licking my lips. Yum.

Jenny Woolf said...

I have a love hate thing with sundried tomatoes. Some need to be cooked thoroughly. The Sunblush ones are great just as they are. I think it's something to do with the oil they come in. I found a good supplier of oak smoked sundried tomatoes lately - I'll stick with those, if I can keep making myself pay the price of a small tub - three times the cost of the regular sort.

mobile said...

Oh my God this looks so good and i`m sure that it is delicious too. I think that this is a easy recipe so i will give it a try, thanks a lot for sharing.