Sun-dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Cheese Bread

I’ve wanted to try this bread for ages.

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This bread won an award in the first-ever National Festival of Breads and was created by a Dianna Wara of Washington. So high expectations.

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And it turned out to be one of the easier enriched doughs that I’ve worked with!

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Cutting into the dough to reveal all that filling was so satisfying.

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And I just came back from a trip to Rome so I had some beautiful sun-dried tomatoes from there to use up.

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The dough was on the sweeter side, but still really tasty! Definitely an enriched bread recipe I will go back to again. I misinterpreted the recipe though, and only put my filling on one end, hence the massively uneven distribution of the filling. Live and learn.

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The texture is on the closed side, which I suppose is expected of an enriched bread. The bread had a good chew, and the sweet acidity of the sun-dried tomatoes paired nicely with the bread’s slight richness, the aroma of the basil, and the saltiness of the cheese.

I got this recipe from kingarthurflour, which usually has good bread recipes.

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves, I only made one here so I halved the recipe)

  • 113g warm water (1/2 cup)
  • 50g sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 4 tsp instant yeast
  • 227g warm, low-fat milk (1 cup)
  • 67g extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 722g bread flour (6 cups)
  • 1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (241g)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 170g shredded cheese (1 1/2 cups. I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella, although the original recipe asked for Italian blend)
  • 14g chopped, fresh basil (2/3 cups)

Method

  1. Combine water, sugar, yeast, milk, olive oil, eggs, salt, and flour in a large bowl. Then, knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
  2. Grease the dough, including the top, and place in a large bowl to proof. Cover with clingfilm and let proof until double in size (the recipe said 45 mins but mine took closer to 1.5 hours. Depends on the temperature of your room)
  3. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and basil (using kitchen shears is easier).
  4. Deflate the dough and divide the dough into two.
  5. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 22″ by 8.5″. Sprinkle on half of the garlic, cheese, basil, and tomatoes (see notes)
  6. Roll it the long way and pinch edges to seal.
  7. Place the log of dough seam-edge down and cut a slit (using kitchen shears here is easier), starting from 1/2″ from one end and 1″ deep. Stop 1/2″ from the other end.
  8. Keeping the cut side up, form an “S” shape. Tuck both ends under the centre to form an “8” shape.
  9. Cover with oiled cling film and let rise again until doubled in size, about 45-60 mins. (Again, mine took longer)
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 for the other half of the dough.
  11. Bake at 180°C for 35-40 mins. Tent the loaf with foil after 15-20 mins to stop the bread from browning too much.
  12. Let cool on a cooling rack.

Notes

  • Place the filling across the WHOLE rectangle before rolling it up, not on one end. I was wondering why I had so much extra filling URGH.
  • Make sure to let your dough double in size, don’t just follow the timings for the proofing! Those are just a general guide.
  • The original recipe called for 5-5 1/2 cups of flour, but the people at kingarthurflour thinks that the writer of the recipe used the dipping method which results in more flour. So I think following the weight measurement is more accurate.
  • Oiling your pan while working the dough makes it a bit easier to work with.
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2 thoughts on “Sun-dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Cheese Bread

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