Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sundried Tomato Sourdough Bread

My college roommate, Jenny, introduced me to The Renaissance Café in Leavenworth where the main attraction, in our minds, was their sundried tomato sourdough toast. We found out they bought the bread from a bakery in Cashmere so from there on out, anytime we passed through town we’d try to buy a loaf or two of their famous bread.

As I was browsing tomato recipes (gumbo, short rib ragu, homemade cream of tomato soup…), I came across a recipe for tomato bread made with sourdough starter. I instantly had flashbacks to that delicious toast and figured I could adapt the recipe by adding fresh and sundried tomatoes.

I have sourdough starter that I use for sourdough pancakes, but have never veered off to try it in any other recipe. I’m not even 100% sure it’s the same thing, but it worked! If any of you need starter, I’m your gal, I’m happy to share!

Like all homemade bread, this took awhile. But it’s super easy, you just need to have time to let it rise—2 ½ hours to be exact. So wait until you’re home on a weekend with nothing else to do so it will be a relaxing, enjoyable experience. I was very domestic while my dough was rising; I worked in the yard, did laundry, picked blackberries and finally, finally watched the final episode of The Bachelorette. Spoiler alert if you still have it on your DVR: I loved Arie, he was super hot, but I’m really happy Emily picked Jef and can’t wait for them to get married and have lots of babies! Good stuff.
Hmmm, I wonder if Emily would eat carb-loaded sundried tomato toast smothered in butter? 

Sundried Tomato Sourdough Bread
Makes 2 loaves 

1 ½ cups sourdough starter
1 cup warm water (110 degrees – mine came out of the tap at 120, so I let it cool off for a few minutes before adding the yeast)
1 (25 oz.) package active dry yeast
Fresh tomatoes blended to equal 1 cup tomato juice
½ cup sundried tomatoes (I used ¼ cup because that’s all I had, but it could have used more. I also chopped mine, but next time will leave them whole.)
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups all-purpose flour
PAM and/or Crisco

1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water, set aside.
2. In large bowl (Kitchen Aid Mixer): mix sourdough starter and pureed tomatoes. Add yeast mixture, salt, garlic powder, sugar and stir well.  Add the olive oil and dump in the sundried tomatoes.
3. Add 1 cup of flour at a time and beat well to develop the gluten (I used the dough hook). Continue to beat until a stiff dough forms—about 5 minutes.

4. Turn into greased bowl (I used Crisco to grease the bowl) and lightly grease top (I used PAM for the top), cover with a towel (I wet the towel and also sprayed PAM on it so it wouldn’t stick to the rising dough) and place in a draft free area for 2 hours. (I warmed the oven for a few seconds and put the bowl in there to rise.)

The rising dough will double in bulk.
2 hours later
5. Punch down and divide dough in two, form into rounds and place each on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled generously with cornmeal.
6. Let rise ½ hour, rub top lightly with flour and slash with sharp knife.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned when checked (45 minutes did the trick for me).
7. For a soft crust, cool under a clean dishtowel. For a harder European style crust, cool without.

Tomato bread makes a killer breakfast sandwich
For more homemade bread recipes, check out Jolie’s Dutch oven bread and Amber’s rosemary bread.


  1. You girls are seriously tempting me to try homemade bread. Damn this look so good!! PS: I just want that guy to cut his hair...

  2. OMG that looks good! I am going to try this!

  3. Great post! I'd love some of your grandpa's starter. I absolutely love making bread. It's relaxing and cozy!

  4. You've even got me thinking of making bread....or maybe you will bring me some of yours!!!! Love those breakfast sandwiches!!!!!