Rustic Sun-Dried Tomato Bread

sun-dried tomato bread

I've already made this rustic loaf with pine nuts a few times and not only is it easy to prepare and bake but absolutely delicious and satisfying. There is nothing like the aroma of freshly baked bread to stimulate the appetite and calm the mind. This all-purpose bread goes nicely with some butter, fills out pretty much any meal you can imagine and is wonderful for dunking into your favorite vegetable soup or curry. Lightly toast the cut slices for a few minutes and you have crust for a perfect sandwich — I'll be exploring that possibility soon — or breakfast toast to go with some eggs and hash browns if you please.

You may wish to include some olives and some chopped jalapeƱo, and I nearly did, but this time I was looking for a more subtle combination to serve as a platform for the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and herbs. Crisp on the outside, the moist and textured interior is accented by the firm crust. No matter how you serve it, earthy vibrance awaits you.

rustic bread

Rustic Sun-Dried Tomato BreadRustic Sun-Dried Tomato Bread
Recipe by
Published on February 5, 2013

Beautiful rustic-looking crusty bread flavored with sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and herbs

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Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cups spelt flour or a combination of spelt and whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener (white or brown sugar or jaggery)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or 1 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • olive oil for brushing
Instructions:
  • Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop finely. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sweetener, cayenne and herbs. Stir in the fennel seeds and pine nuts and then fold in the sun-dried tomatoes.

  • Make a well in the center of the dried ingredients and pour in the buttermilk. Using a fork, gradually incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients until the dough comes together. Take care not to overwork the dough.

  • With floured hands, knead the dough a few times in the bowl, adding a sprinkle or two more flour if the dough is too sticky. Form into a ball and let stand covered with plastic wrap or a clean, dry dish towel for 15 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 400° and grease a 9 × 5 inch loaf pan.

  • After the dough has rested, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Flour your hands too, and gently knead the dough, turning and folding the dough over roughly 8 to 10 times. Your dough should be smooth and shaped into a loaf shape, roughly 8 inches long. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, brush with a bit of olive oil and use a knife to make a few diagonal cuts across the top of the loaf that are about 1/2-inch or so deep. Let rest for another 10 minutes as your oven preheats.

  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the loaf has risen and turns a nice golden-brown. Insert a cake tester into the middle of the loaf and if it comes out clean, your loaf is done. Allow to sit in the pan for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • Serve warm or at room temperature. It keeps well for a few days in an airtight container. Well wrapped, the loaf may also be frozen for a month or two. I suggest you make up a few loaves if you have the room to store some.

Makes one 9-inch loaf
crusty sun-dried tomato bread

Other delightful breads that are sure to tantalize your senses from Lisa's Kitchen:
Chocolate Quinoa Ricotta Bread
Irish Soda Bread
Skillet Cornbread

On the top of the reading stack: newly arrived cookery books

Audio Accompaniment: Pete Namlook

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