Nothing like setting yourself a monthly goal to get things done and see things changing. This past weekend, I opened Dough by Richard Bertinet looking for the bread that would make me part with my everyday bread and further explore the world of breadmaking.
The first step was to stop drooling! The photography is amazing and I'm pretty sure I could taste most breads just by looking at the pages. The second step was to decide on my favourite bread. I had really strict criteria for this: best looking bread, simple recipe.
This tomato and garlic bread is a variation on one of the breads in the book. Following recipes is not my forte, I like to tweak things to suit me and clearly this was no different. I hear frequently how bread making is this exact science and everything must be just so... well, not from my experience. Admittedly I don't know how my bread compares to other more precisely done ones, but I'm happy as is and I shall continue with the relaxed approach!
Tomato and garlic bread
600 g strong white flour
10 g salt
50 g extra-virgin olive oil
320 g water
25 garlic cloves
300 g cherry tomatoes
oregano, pepper and olive oil
Cut the tomatoes in half, season with dried oregano and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and roast them in the oven in low heat (I did 120ºC) until done (2.5 hours in my oven).
Heat 6 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tsp of sugar. Peel 25 garlic cloves (I would stretch it to 30 next time) and add them to the olive oil. Roast it in the oven until the garlic is soft (for me is was 30 minutes, at 180ºC). Let them cool and let them dry somewhat in a clean bowl.
Pre-heat the oven to 250ºC. Mix the flour and the yeast with your finger tips, then add the salt, olive oil and water. Mix it all by hand and work the dough until you have a nice soft dough ball. It took me 25-30 minutes, even though the book says 10-15... such is life! Leave it to rest for one hour, covered by a tea towel (the dough should double in size).
Remove the dough from the bowl and put it on a floured surface. Flatten it by hand into a square. Put the tomatoes and garlic all over your squared dough. Fold one third to cover the the middle section, and then the other side covering that one. Cut your dough in three and close the cut edges. Place in a greased baking tray (I used olive oil). Cover with a tea towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Open a hole on each bread and put the tray in the oven, turning the heat down a bit (220ºC for me). 25 minutes later I had the bread ready!