Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rich Tomato Bread

This bread is really yummy as toast, served with a pat of vegan butter. Or try it for sandwiches with some of the vegan deli slices out there, such as the 'turkey' from LightLife! The sun-dried tomatoes lend a beautiful, slightly-pink color to your loaf.

Start by covering 20 sun-dried tomato halves (the kind packed without oil) with 1 cup boiling water; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Drain the tomatoes in a sieve over a large bowl, reserving the liquid. Finely chop the tomatoes and set aside. Reheat the reserved liquid until it is between 100 and 110 degrees (it's best to verify the temp with a thermometer). Dissolve one packet (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) yeast into the liquid, in a large bowl, and let stand 5 minutes.

Lightly spoon 3 cups bread flour into measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add the bread flour, the chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the equivalent of 1 egg using egg replacer (such as Ener-G) to the yeast mixture, and stir until a dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 8 minutes (punch dough down with your palm, fold in half, turn a quarter turn, repeat!).

You can add up to 1/2 cup more bread flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, but quite honestly, I found I had the opposite problem with this dough - it was almost too floury! I wondered if the problem was the fact that the original recipe had called for a large egg, so I added an additional tablespoon of water to the mixture: the standard Ener-G 'egg' is 1 and 1/2 teaspoons powder whisked into 2 tablespoons warm water, so perhaps that didn't contain enough liquid. The addition of the extra water did make the dough workable, but as a result, I only ended up adding about another tablespoon of flour throughout the kneading process.

After kneading, place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top of the dough as well. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes - ideally some place about 85 degrees and free from drafts.

Punch the dough down, cover, and let it rest 5 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface, and roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 14x7-inch rectangle. Starting at the short (7-inch) end, roll up the rectangle tightly, pressing firmly so you don't have any air pockets. Pinch the seam and the ends to seal once you're done.

Place the roll, seam-side down, in an 8x4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat the top of the loaf with cooking spray as well, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes - the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack. Brush the top with 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance). Slice into 16 slices, each of which is 150 calories.

(Note: While making the recipe, I realized I was almost out of olive oil! I only had enough for 1 tablespoon, so made up the second tablespoon with canola oil. Although this may have varied the final taste slightly, I couldn't detect much difference).

sun-dried tomatoes packed without oil $2.69

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html