Baking Bread in Quarantine!
A first for me! Baking bread! My tomato garden has been so generous this year that I was looking for recipes where I could use some of them. I came across this recipe for tomato bread from the Daring Gourmet website https://www.daringgourmet.com/fresh-roasted-tomato-and-herb-bread/
and tried my hand in the kitchen with yeast, the dough hook, and kneading -- all of which were new for me. I'm here to say that it was a lovely experience, a little more work than I anticipated, but very worth it, and very satisfying too.
After I harvested the tomatoes, and herbs (basil, thyme, & sage) I headed into the kitchen to begin the bread making odyssey. I consider myself a pretty good everyday cook - but I generally do not use recipes. I do what my daughters call "surprise cooking," as in it's a surprise what's in the dish! Or, don't ask me what's for dinner because it's a surprise!
But with the bread -- I was very careful to follow the recipe exactly. Though I didn't quite know what the dough consistency should be, I could tell that after the first knead, it was a little sticky, so as the recipe indicated, I added some more flour, and it turned out fine. In quarantine, it's a little more difficult to cook exactly to recipe specifications, because not all staples are in the cupboard all the time. And, since we don't shop yet, I have to wait for Instacart to deliver grocery items. So spur of the moment recipe making is always a little dicey. I just happened to have all the items that this recipe required -- and I had ordered yeast from a baking company at the beginning of quarantine thinking that it would be fun to bake bread. But...that never happened -- until my tomato garden nudged me into the kitchen! Serendipitous!
The final product was moist, with a deep tomato flavor. Warm from the oven, with soft butter, it was really delicious. I would have liked to have a proper bread loaf pan for the baking, but I made do with my smaller glass loaf pans, and just split the dough into two loaves - one for us and one for my daughter!
I would definitely do this again - now that I have the hang of it and know what to expect, I think it would be much easier, and I would be less timid about each new step. Using produce from the garden to nourish my family was a really good feeling. It made me all the more grateful for my adventures in my little backyard garden.
Check out the video of my bread making escapade in the video section of my blog!