Oven roasted tomatoes and basil Pane Bianco
Pane Bianco is another name for white bread in Italy. pane ‘bread’ + bianco ‘white’. Once you master the art of basic bread baking, incorporating several flavours into a recipe would be fun. I have a special bias love for bread baking. Home baked breads are simply amazing.
When we bake bread at home, the pleasure of accomplishment and the deep aromas comes along. Bread is one of the most universal / ancient food on earth. Many of us have lasting childhood memories of that aroma of freshly baked bread. Making bread is certainly an art, and many times it acts as therapeutic regime, and not to forget its kind of an addictive deed. If you have not tried yet, please do – its a true pleasure of life …….
If you are a beginner – here are few links to understand the basic fundamentals of bread baking.
This Oven roasted tomato and basil bread recipe is easy to nail. The dough is friendly to work with. Its not overly sticky or overly dry. You might find the dough shrinking back during the rolling process. But have patience and deal the dough with love.
The texture and the flavors in this Oven roasted tomatoes and basil bread are amazing. However there are a few points I would like to mention before we go ahead with the recipe.
1 . I love adding biga to my breads – it gives interesting depth in the flavour of bread. In this recipe, adding biga is optional. I leave the choice to you.
To make biga- You will need to prepare Biga a night before (Combine the flour (2 tablespoons), yeast (a pinch) and water (2 tablespoons) in a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a uniform mass forms. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 15 hours).
2 . I prefer adding a pinch of gluten powder to my flour when baking breads. Though this can also be optional. But adding gluten powder will give better results.
3 . I didn’t use any machine to make the dough because the dough is not a sticky one. But be careful not to add too much of extra flour when kneading the dough to prevent sticking. Stick to the recipe; too much flour will end up in a dry loaf.
4 . I would have loved to use sun-dried tomatoes, but I didn’t had any ready with me. So the easiest short cut was oven roasted tomatoes. I have use cherry tomatoes as they have deep flavour. Just roasted them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes without any salt or oil. Basically we are dehydrating the tomatoes and using them.
Also if you feel that the tomatoes are big in size, please chop them into small bits before adding into the recipe. I roasted cherry tomatoes and further chopped them using kitchen scissors.
5 . Basil works great with tomatoes, you can also incorporate some shredded cheese of your choice.
6 . In regards to the steps of shaping the dough into shape- After mixing the ingredients and kneading till you get the smooth elastic dough. Let the dough rest till it gets double in size. This is called Proofing
Proofing is about letting the yeast eat up the sugars from the flour, and burp out gas and alcohol, which makes the bread rise and gives it a nice flavor.
7 . When done Gently deflate the dough. Flatten and pat it into a rectangle. Spread with the prepared tomatoes, roasted garlic, and basil.
8 . Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal. Place the log seam-side down on a lightly greased baking tray or parchment-lined baking tray.
9 . Using kitchen scissors, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1″ deep, to within 1/2″ of the other end.
10 .Shape – Tuck both ends under the center of the “S” to form a “figure 8;” pinch the ends together to seal.
11. You will again need to rest the shaped dough for half an hour or more. Or till it gets double in size. Don’t forget to cover the shaped bread when resting. Tip: to cover the baking tray on which shaped bread is resting- Use an over size plastic bag and keep the tray inside. Slightly bring together the open edges and tie a rubber band. Make sure you leave some room of air inside the plastic bag, so it should not touch the shaped bread.
3 cups maida
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes or your own oven-roasted tomatoes
3 to 6 cloves garlic, roasted, peeled and minced
A good sprinkle of basil
Combine all of the dough ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil) in a bowl and knead with milk and water; mix — by hand, using a mixer. Knead till you get smooth, very soft dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it’s doubled in size.
Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the tomatoes, patting them dry. Use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller bits. Gently deflate the dough. Flatten and pat it into a 22″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle. Spread with the , tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal. Place the log seam-side down on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using kitchen shears, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1″ deep, to within 1/2″ of the other end.
To shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the “S” to form a “figure 8;” pinch the ends together to seal. Let the prepared and shaped bread rise in a warm place until double, 40 to 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes. If you fell that the top of the bread is getting darker – tent it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool.
Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.