food for thought...

this bread seemed the perfect complement to a lovely warm spring day, such as the day we had on Saturday. it's a kind of foccacia made with home roasted tomatoes and is just delicious simply torn without any need for any extras - though a good tangy cheddar or salty goat's cheese does make the treat extra nice and even more peachy perfect especially for a picnic!

here's the recipe... first roast 2 medium tomatoes in a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt & a few needles of rosemary leaves, if you have them, in a medium oven for about 30 minutes.
Whilst that is cooking make the dough... mix 350gram (12oz) white bread flour with 3 tablesp olive oil, 11/2 teasp sea salt, 7gram dried yeast (one sachet), 200ml (7floz) hand hot water and if you want too a few pitted then halved black olives and a few (5 or so) torn basil leaves.
Mix to a soft dough first slopping the mix around the bowl and then when it becomes a little less sticky kneed on a floured board until it just becomes elastic (5 mins). pop into a floured bowl (i use the same bowl with a dusting of flour) cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in bulk (about 2 to 3 hours in a warm kitchen).
leave the tomatoes to cool.
when the dough has risen turn it out onto a flour dusted board and knock out the air. flatten out and lay your roasted tomatoes over the surface. fold the dough over them to hide them inside the dough then place the dough onto a lightly greased baking tray. flatten out the dough again into a rectangular-ish shape (doesn't matter if the tomatoes reappear) cover with the towel and leave to rise for a further 30mins as you preheat the oven to high - Gas 7, 220 degrees C.
After 30mins is up make dimples over the bread with your finger and drizzle 2tablesp olive oil over the dough. sprinkle with a little more salt, some chopped rosemary needles if you like and scatter a couple of torn basil leaves (if you have some) over that then bake in the oven for 20-25mins, until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and looks cooked - and the kitchen smells glorious!

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