The Fresh Loaf

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Tomato Sourdough & Levain De Campagne

ElPanadero's picture

Tomato Sourdough & Levain De Campagne

So I was browsing through one of my books looking for something new to make and the Tomato Sourdough looked interesting.  I'd seen it before along with a beetroot sourdough but always glossed over them thinking them to be somewhat quirky and simply strange for the sake of being strange.  How wrong was I ?!

Tomato Sourdough smells and tastes fantastic and will be a regular bake for me now ! It's delicious toasted and used for bruscetta with real tomatoes, fresh mozzerella cheese and basil.  It would also make great little side rolls or grissini for a cheese board. 

The other loaf here is a classic Levain De Campagne, a mix of white flour, wholewheat flour and dark rye.  Pretty much a standard sourdough but one I love to make for general eating.  Both loaves are made with a preferment built from white flour and since the book I'm using here is Emmanuel Hadjiandreou's "How To Bake Bread", the recipes are simple, no fuss, practical ones that will produce loaves in just a few hours.  You could of course adjust the quantities of starter, do overnight retards and so on to get more deeper tangy flavours if you so desired.

The crumbs as you can see above are quite "bready" and fluffy rather than having large gelatinised holes that are often seen with sourdoughs.  Using a higher hydration would help create the latter of course.  What I like about these recipes though is they produce some great tasting loaves that can be whipped up within a few hours and used on a regular basis rather than "show piece" or technical loaves that require a more attention.  These loaves tend to have a higher quantity of starter which cuts down the bulk proving time to a few hours.

Tomato Sourdough with Fennel and Caraway (mini loaf)

White Flour 200g, White Starter 150g (100%), Salt 3-4g, Water 100g, Tomato puree 20g, Freshly ground herbs 1-2g, olive oil 1g

Mix, S+F every 10 mins for 40 mins, proof 1hr, shape, banneton, proof 3-5 hrs till doubled, score and bake

I put fennel and caraway seeds through my grain mill here but you could equally use celery seeds or rosemary or any herbs you like.

Hydration here is about 63% and with the puree this makes for quite a sticky dough but it is workable and will eventually form a decent boule.


Levain De Campagne

White Flour 250g, Wholewheat 100g, Rye 50g, White Starter 150g, Salt 7g, Water 250g-300g

Mix, S+F every 10 mins for 40 mins, proof 1hr, shape, banneton, proof 3-5 hrs till doubled, score and bake

This bread is lovely toasted.


AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

...and they look great! The tomato one looks very interesting, love the colour. I hope to bake this someday soon. I'm in two minds about the beetroot one. On the one hand I'm like "no way, how can that go together" but on the other I'm thinking "beetroot has an earthy taste as do many breads with wholegrains, perhaps it might work afterall". And it does look nice as a finished loaf.

Lovely breads ElPanadero. Enjoy! 



dabrownman's picture

But with 7% puree I guess that is to be expected.   Hopefully the taste came through.  I like to use sun dried tomato in bread to see it and to taste the concentrated flavor.  Both breads look grand and perfect for sandwiches.  Well done.

Don't poo poo the beet breads,  If you type in beet in the search box you will see page after page of beet breads.  I really kike them but the same thing holds true.  If you puree them like I did in the first example the color and taste sort of disappears but itf you leave them chunky like the 2nd example, the color and taste really come through. The hamburger buns were some of the best ever.   Beets are also perfect for making a pink bread for Valentines Day

Happy baking

ElPanadero's picture

You're right of course, it's "lip service" to a real Tomato bread using just puree. I will add some chopped sun-dried tommies to the next one.