Sun-dried Tomato, Basil and Garlic Tear and Share Bread

Eve 14/09/13

I cannot believe I made this!!!!!

This is like eating a giant flavoursome cloud of yumminess! No jokes!

I still can't believe I made this! 
Every time I make bread, I normally follow a recipe by a chef. Every time, I have ended up with an unbaked, dense, chewy
loaf. This time, I made up a recipe totally for scratch. I thought to myself "I need to make a recipe for bread, and a good one!"
It took me 20 minutes to come up with this beauty. I am so glad I set aside some time for making this recipe, It was definitely worth it 110% 

What did I do differently? I always prove my dough twice and knead really well by hand. I didn't knock down the dough after the first prove, that's it!
By not knocking out the air after the first prove, I was reserving air adding to the fluffiness and lightness of the loaf. Once the dough has risen, I turn it out on to the worktop and just rolled out the dough, no kneading. 
So part of the secret to a light bread is to reserve air.

(Look how fluffy it is!!)

This, I think, is now my own dough, my recipe, my style!

I have been meaning to post a savoury recipe for some time. If you look at the title of my blog, it says "Baking the Day, Cake, cupcake and biscuit at a time" So I decided to bring some savoury to the table. After 16 posts, this is my first savoury one, oh no! This bread is like a cinnamon roll gone mad, tomatoey and herby, not sugary and sweet.

Making bread, it is always very important that you use Strong Flour instead of normal flour. Strong flour has a higher percentage of gluten which gives bread it's lovely, springy texture.

For making bread, I always use Allinson's Easy Bake Yeast. I find this yeast gives me great results every time - I am not compensated to say this. I just find this yeast is a winner, easy to use and gives wonderful flavour to your bake. Also, it is a great riser.

It is REALLY important that you knead your dough well, it really makes a difference. I knead by hand, it gives better results that using a free-standing mixer as the mixer just cannot resemble your hands in any way. Mixers don't knead the dough properly, your hands do, so I strongly urge you to hand knead your dough.
An easy way to see if your dough is properly kneaded is by the "window test". Take a small-ish ball of the dough and stretch it like in the picture above. If the dough is like a little window, letting light in, the dough is done.

This dough is ready to prove.

Once kneaded, prove your dough in a big bowl covered with cling film. Proving lets the yeast come to life; the yeast starts to produce carbon dioxide which makes lots of little air bubbles. The air bubbles makes the dough rise. After 1 hour of proving, the dough should of doubled in size. Now, time to shape the dough!
Roll out the dough to a large rectangle and spread on the filling. Roll up the dough like a giant Swiss roll and cut into 8 equal piece and put into a cake tin like so...

Let your bread rise again for half an hour until doubled in size...again!

And bake! This is amazing, just give it a go!

Sun-dried Tomato, Basil and Garlic Tear and Share Bread
Makes 1 bread

  • 600g Strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 10g (or 2 7g sachets) Quick yeast
  • 1 tbsp. Non-flavoured oil, I like rapeseed
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 330ml - 360ml Warm water
For the filling
  • 1/2 Small white onion, finely diced
  • 125g Sun-dried tomatoes in their oil
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/2 Bunch (approx. 15g) fresh basil
  • 1/2 tbsp. Mixed Italian dried herbs
  • 1/2 tbsp. Tomato puree
  • 100ml Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt to one side of the flour and the yeast to the other side so they don't touch. Add the oil and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  2. Add about half of the water to start with to the flour and mix with your hands. Slowly add the rest of the water until everything is combined.
  3. Tip the dough onto a clean work surface with a very small bit of oil brushed on the surface to prevent the dough from sticking.
  4. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth, taunt and elastic. Read above tips to see if your dough if  sufficiently kneaded.
  5. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to prove for 1 - 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put 1/2 tbsp. of the tomato oil into a saucepan heat on low heat. Add the onion and gently cook for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Chop the tomatoes, garlic and basil and add to the onion. Turn off the heat. 
  7. Mix well and add the tomato puree and water. Using a stick blender or food processor  blend the filling until smooth but still has some texture.
  8. Return to the saucepan and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until thickened. Season to taste and leave to cool.
  9. Once the dough has double in size, tip out of the bowl and roll out with a rolling pin until 46cm x 40cm big and 1/2 cm deep. Spread on the tomato mixture and starting from the end of the dough nearest you, start to roll it up like a giant Swiss roll.
  10. Cut the long roll into 8 equal piece and place, cut side up, in a 23cm deep spring-form cake tin. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180c fan/ gas mark 6.
  11. Bake the risen dough in the preheated oven for 35 - 40 minutes until a dark golden brown. Leave to cool a little before serving.


This bread is best eaten on the day of making but will keep for a maximum of 2-3 day. Refresh in a hot oven for ten minutes before eating.