The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Breaducation Bakery Fresh Tomato bread, June 29/10

RobertS's picture

Breaducation Bakery Fresh Tomato bread, June 29/10

Continuing my experiments with Lahey bread...

I cut up fresh cherry tomatoes and a medium sized "regular" tomato, and threw in 2 tsps ground oregano. Then I hand-mixed them into my gorgeous, gorgeous Lahey dough which had fermented for 26 hours. It was a struggle, and when it ended, I thought I had thoroughly destroyed all the gas and air in the dough. I also thought that the dough had finished all the fermenting it was going to ferment, as it looked somewhat shiny, like a kind of cheap plastic. So with heavy heart (not really, it was fun!) I let it sit in my fermenting tub for another hour and fifteen minutes, not really expecting to see any change. To my surprise, back came at least a modicum of bubbles, and, taking no chances, I poured it onto a wheat-branned towel and did a sloppy. mimimal fold job as best as I could, and turned on my convection oven to 500-degrees. Twenty-minutes later, I was dismayed to see the dough was plaster-stuck to the towel (like an idiot I should have first turned the dough onto my counter and floured it before towel-wrapping it). Getting the dough into the pot was---ahem--an adventure, (and I had to throw the towel into the garbage). There really wasn't enough dough to fill my cast-iron pot properly, and what I managed to place into it looked like it had been torn apart by four fighting pitbulls pulling from all the points of the compass.

Naturally my expectations were low. Who ever heard of waiting for 26 hours to load veggies into a dough, to say nothing of eschewing the time-honoured tradition of inserting them by flattening the dough, distributing the pieces all over it, then rolling it up like a carpet? And to abuse the dough thoroughly (Lahey & Reinhart, excuse me), and pot it in such a sorry, flaccid state?

Well, this bread hardly came out singing Hallelujah --- a lot of the tomatoes gravitated too close to the crust, and the crumb was a wee bit over-moist and closed in places --- but it DID have a truly memorable crust, and the taste was first-class.

Question to anyone who reads this: any suggestiuons for next time, given the same ingredients? Comments would be appreciated greatly, since I am a complete novice. See another picture below.


Kingudaroad's picture

The last time I did a recipe with some "additives" like your tomatoes and herbs, the recipe called to add them at the end of the initial mixing of the dough and before the bulk ferment. Not sure if it would have helped, but may be something to try. It still looked great!



008cats's picture

I typically require one or sometimes two stretch&fold before I shape and retard my loaves. Anything I want in my bread that is the size of a sunflower seed or larger, I lay onto onto the dough before the last (two part) stretch&fold.

When 1/3 of the dough is folded up, that bare surface is covered with additions also; when the vertical letterfold is done, the horizontal folds are treated the same way.

This way, all the "extras" are contained inside the dough (tho occasionally peek out at the score line at baking).

I should mention that I do this in an oiled flat container, so no extra flour is needed and keeping the goodies INSIDE the loaf is not a problem.

This is very gentle and combines two actions - folding and adding extra stuff - into one.

RobertS's picture

Keith, I will try doing that with this Lahey recipe. I hesitated to do so in the first place because I wanted tomatoes to taste as fresh as possible, and didn't want to acidify dough by putting them in at outset. But the proof is in the trying, and I shall do so.

008cats: I think your method will work splendidly, and I shall try it, I like the idea of combining folding and "inserting" into basically one step, since this dough produces such great open crumb, and that is what I want to maintain, regardless of "fillings".

While I'm at it, juist for the hell of it, I'm enclosing a shot of a Caraway Rye loaf I made some time ago using ArtisanBin5min/day.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Throw some pitted ones in.  My Boys like little tiny cubes of cheese too!  They call it pizza bread in all my versions.  Wonder why?   Search under "End of the winter tire sale" to see one idea with a really fantastic dough you might want to try out, very wet but full of taste!

I keep a little shaker box of mixed flour for the towel and or fermenting basket.  One part normal rice flour to 4 parts wheat flour,  been calling it teflon flour for years.  This shaken onto the towel will help.  (If you shake it on the dough don't expect to do anymore folds on it for it won't stick to itself and seal up.  A great trick if that leads to an effect you want.)

Keep them coming!


RobertS's picture

Good Morning Mini:

Don't like black olives, but made another Lahey bread alongside the Fresh Tomato/Oregano loaf described above. That other loaf contained sun-dried tomatoes, parmigiano reggiano cheese (grated) and rosemary. Had some for breakfast this morning and loved it greatly, though, as you suggest, cheese probably would be better cubed than grated, since the taste of cheese was quite faint, even at 3/4 cup to 3 cups flour. Wonderful for toast too, and this is important to me because probably 75% of the bread I eat is toast.

Thanks for shaker tip. I will make a shaker today, using rice and wheat flours. Also plan to use proofing baskets from now on, and S&F more on counter before consigning loaves to their proofing nests.

Today is Canada Day,your version of July 4. Happy July 4th to you, Mini.

Robert S

bill bush's picture
bill bush

Hi!  Reading that you add items after fermentation of no-knead bread made me wonder if it is even more flexible than I thought.  I have always added chopped olives, freshly ground rosemary, diced cheese, or diced hard salami right at the beginning, into the dry ingredients.  That way they all get coated with flour, which I read years ago prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the dough/batter.  I stir in the water as the last step in mixing with my Danish dough whisk.  Then I let the dough rise right there in the mixing bowl.  About 16 hours later, I gently turn it out onto a floured board, sprinkle a little more flour on top, wash my hands in flour and do a very gentle letter fold (as much as is practical without degassing), then pull the dough into a boule while spinning it around as I pull it into a round shape, tucking under as I go.  I put it on baking parchment for the second rise, and when it gets to the point (about 90 min) of not springing back fully after a finger poke, I lift it by the paper sling and put it into a cold dutch oven, then onto the pre-heated stone in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes, then remove lid, reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake another 2o or so minutes till internal temperature measured by an instant-read thermometer is about 204 degrees.  Then take out of oven and turn onto rack to cool.  Hope this helps you.  


I have not tried putting fresh tomatoes in a loaf, but plan to try some sun-dried ones soon.  Have you used mushrooms?  I tried shredded cheddar once, but it stunk up the house.  Diced pepper jack with diced hard salami is the big favorite among friends.  It is like a sandwich without the work! 


Do you always use the floured towel?  I tried it, but even though I had rubbed flour into the towel as hard as I could, it still stuck.  That is when I went to parchment, a material I had never used before but now would not want to be without.  I can usually bake 3 times on one sheet before it gets brittle and I discard it.  A fourth bake would probably be possible, but I have not pushed it yet.  I can't see any real advantage to proofing on a towel unless you are in a commercial setting with many loaves to proof.  Using the paper and a container the same size as or even the very one you'll be baking in eliminates this problem area entirely.  Once the boule is shaped, it is just lifted/slid onto the parchment paper, placed in desired container, and then scored at the last minute.  I use kitchen shears to score, snipping little 2-inch cuts into the dough about 4 to 8 times, depending on the size of the boule.  It does not de-gas and seems to allow for good spring, or at least better than I was getting with a knife or a razor blade.


Thanks for your discussion on this topic, because it contributes to a wonderful site that has taught me something every time I have clicked on it!