Monday, March 7, 2011

Sundried Tomato Cheddar Bread

I adapted this recipe from Peter Ryan's Roasted Tomato Cheddar Bread. It has tomatoes, it has cheese- how could you not want it? Next time I have tomatoes I will definitely make it with roasted tomatoes instead of the sun-dried tomatoes. The sundried give a nice sweet flavor but I'm sure the roasted tomatoes would give a much richer, tomato flavor. I fudged a few other things on this recipe - I don't have a baking stone, and my crappy oven gave up halfway through baking and got down to 250 degrees before I noticed and turned it on again. I am also pretty sure I did not add enough cheese. But it still came out beautiful and tasty.

I halved Peter's recipe to make 2 1lb loaves.

Sundried Tomato Cheddar Bread
1.5 c lukewarm water
3/4 Tbsp yeast
3/4 Tbsp salt
3/4Tbsp sugar
3.5 c flour (unbleached all-purpose)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook smoked extra-sharp)
about 10 slices sundried tomato (or more to taste) – see recipe below

1. mix the yeast, salt, and sugar with the water in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). mix in the dry ingredients and the cheese without kneading, using a spoon or stand mixer. I would say that the amount of cheese and tomato you use can be varied according to your taste. I would have liked mine to be cheesier, so next time I plan on adding another half cup of cheese cut into cubes so there will be nice cheesy bits in the bread. Cover, not airtight, and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

* the dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. refrigerate in a lidded, but not airtight, container and use over the next 7 days.*

2. On baking day, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit-sized) piece. dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 1 hour.

3. twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450F, with a baking stone (or unglazed quarry tiles) on the lowest rack. place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread. sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash across the top, using a serrated bread knife. leave the flour in place for baking; tap some of it off before eating.

4. slide the loaf directly on the hot stone. pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. bake for about 25 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm. small or larger loaves may require adjustments in baking time. allow loaves to cool before slicing and eating.

I will have to try this recipe again with more cheese and roasted tomatoes (and an oven that works properly.) My favorite way to eat this bread is with MORE cheese on top. Like I said, I wanted it it cheesier.


  1. i was thinking 'tomato cheddar bread' mmm that sounds delicious....but you had me at melted cheese :)

  2. When I saw the photo I said "mmmmmm", and now that I read the recipe I say "Yummy" as well!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh my gosh. I am making this, TONIGHT.

    What kind of camera do you use? Your pictures are amazing!

  4. I use a regular point-and-shoot camera that's a few years old. Its nothing fancy, I put it on its macro setting for most of these shots. They key lighting. None of these shots are lit by a flash.