November 17, 2008

Spiced Tomato Swirl Bread

I enjoy baking bread and make a special effort to bake something especially for Bread Baking Day. This has helped me discover many new types of bread while improving my bread baking skills quite a bit.

So when Boaz of Grain Power, who is hosting this edition of BBD, announced “Colored Breads” as the theme, I was a bit nonplussed. I have never baked a colored bread though I have seen many such breads, most of which seem to get their colors from the flours that are used. This really wasn’t an option for me as that variety of flour isn’t available here.

After a lot of thinking, I came up with the idea of a swirl bread. Most swirl breads I have seen, both on the net and in books, are sweet. I wanted to make a savory bread and so I thought of making a spiced tomato paste, spreading it on the dough, rolling it up and baking it. But it seemed to me that perhaps the coloured layer wouldn’t be very visible.
That’s when I saw Arundathi’s beautiful bread for BBD and thought I would knead the tomato paste into the dough and roll both the plain and tomato dough to get a nice contrasting coloured swirl.

Here is the recipe I put together. I have used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour for the plain dough. I have used only all-purpose flour for the tomato dough as I felt the tomato paste might make the bread a bit dense and did not want to add to this by using whole wheat flour.


For the Tomato Paste:

1 big onion, chopped

3 medium tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1 tsp garlic paste

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tsp chilli powder

1 ½ tsp garam masala

1 ½ tsp mixed dried Italian herbs

1 ½ tbsp oil

salt to taste

For the plain dough:

½ cup warm water

1 tbsp honey

1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

1 ¼ all purpose flour

1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp oil

¾ tsp salt

For the tomato dough:

½ cup warm water

1 tbsp honey

1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

¾ cup tomato paste

½ tbsp oil

¾ tsp salt (remember there is salt in the tomato paste)


For the tomato paste:

Puree the tomatoes and onions together.
Heat the oil, add the garlic paste and the onion-tomato puree. Saute well, and then add the tomato ketchup, chilli powder and salt. Cook over medium heat till all the water has evaporated and the tomato paste is thick. Add the garam masla and herbs and cook for another couple of minutes.

Take off the heat and cool completely. This paste can me made a couple of days ahead and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before use.
This recipe gave me the ¾ cup tomato paste required for the tomato dough.

For the plain dough:

Mix the honey in the warm water and add the yeast. Stir till it dissolves and keep aside to prove.
Put yeast mixture and all the other ingredients in the food processor (you may knead by hand if you prefer), adding just enough water to knead into a soft and elastic dough that is just short of sticky.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise till double in size.

For the tomato dough:

Knead the dough as for the plain dough, using the tomato paste to knead the dough. You will not need water for this dough. Should you feel the need, sprinkle the water a little at a time. The dough should be soft but not sticky.

Allow this dough to also double in size.

To make the bread:

Gently deflate the plain dough. Using oiled hands, gently roll out the dough into a rectangle about ¼” thick. Similarly roll out the tomato dough into a rectangle of the same size. Gently lift the tomato dough rectangle and place exactly over the plain dough rectangle.

Now, from the shorter side of the rectangle, roll both the dough tightly together like you would roll a jelly/ swiss roll. Seal the roll and neaten the sides.

Place in greased loaf tin(s), or on a tray dusted with cornmeal or semolina, cover and allow to rise for about 20 to 30 minutes. Brush with water and bake at 190C for about 30 minutes till the bread is done and sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool on a rack. Slice and serve. This bread makes very nice sandwiches.

This recipe makes one big loaf or two small loaves.
This bread is my submission for BBD #14 and goes to Susan of Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting.


Bharti said...

Pretty bread Aparna.
I loved Arundathi's bread as well.

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely bread Aparna.I guess it turned out like spicy tomato sandwich reading ur tomato paste ingnts.
I too plan on making something for BBD.God knows how it will turn out.
One doubt,why honey in the tomato dough.For the plain one,honey is needed for making gluten Here there is no I am curious.Sorry if I am troubling you.

Curry Leaf said...

I use honey when I go for wheat breads as it allows gluten development.So the question of honey in tom.dgh.

Aparna said...

Thanks Bharti.

I wasn't aware of gluten developing properties of honey. :)
But I find honey a good alternative to using refined sugar for activating the yeast. It also lends a nice flavour.

Sunshinemom said...

The honey for gluten development is new to me - good I keep tabs on the comments as well:) The bread by itself looks very good!

Arundathi said...

that looks beautiful, aparna! i love your breads - and am so glad i contributed in some small way. you are right about spreading vs kneading into the dough - i tried the spreading and the Wow effect just isnt there! :-)

i didnt know about honey for gluten either - hmm. great info, thanks sweatha!

Curry Leaf said...

Thanks Aparna.Actually I used honey in my bagels and the recipe on which I based,said that since wheat is denser than the apflour, we have to help gluten development and then made gluten by adding yeast,little wheat and honey. I followed it as given and thought that honey helped gluten development.I hope I did not confuse you and sunshinemom.Now I think it had simply subed sugar as you did.Well,thanks for the prompt comment.

jayasree said...

Beatiful bread. Nice idea to use the tomato paste to make it colorful. Lovely...

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Hey Aparna,

thank you for all those comments. I must say the bread roll looks pramadhum. Bale! Bale!

sra said...

The bread and swirl look beautiful! When you say tomato paste ... how do you make it?

Divya Vikram said...

Lovely colors and beautiful swirls..

Cakelaw said...

What a spectacular looking loaf of bread - I love it!

Simran said...

Great idea! Love the way it looks

Pearlsofeast said...

Aparna, this is absolutely stunning bread.I like your idea of using tomato paste and in fact the colour is very beautiful.

Very creative and thanks for sharing with us.

indosungod said...

the bread looks beautiful. the savory taste of the tomato makes the bread come alive I bet.

sowmya said...

beautiful..thats a lovely recipe..bookmarking it..will surely try it sometime..

Happy cook said...

Beautiful bread aparna.
They just look so fabulous.

Soma said...

Just So beautiful!! What a great idea. I loved the way u did not make it sweet. I love the non sweet loaves, that way u can eat them anytime. A winner.:-)

anudivya said...

That is one gorgeous looking bread... I have a tough time with colored breads since I mostly used whole wheat flour and the color (if used) just does not come through. Might just try with the regular flour. Arundathi's bread was superb as well, saw it on her blog.

Cham said...

Definetly a wow bread Aparna, the tomato paste brought a beautiful bright swirl :) U guys know how to play with the bread dough :)

Arfi Binsted said...

the swirl in the bread looks lovely. i've never baked a swirly bread like this. lovely entry, aparna.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Lovely take on the colored bread theme!

Lore said...

Thumbs up for going for a savoury version (says savoury addict=me)! Love the idea of a tomato swirl, it turned out gorgeous.

PG said...

looks wonderful! And a wonderful idea! My first effort at making somehting colourful hasn't worked out, thought the bread tasted wonderful. Have to think up of something new. :)

Manggy said...

Very imaginative Aparna! I love that there's 3 kinds of tomatoes in here-- that's gotta pack a lot of flavor! :)

karuna said...

bread looks superb. loved the colour of the tomato filling. nice idea to make it savoury.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

The swirl you got on this bread looks terrific! I also love the flavor--I can't say I come across tomato breads very often, but when I do, I am just smitten with them (that, and pepper-based breads!).

Joanna said...

this is such a beautiful and creative bread. do you know if there's any way to make it gluten-free. i've been avoiding gluten because of digestive problems, but would really love to make this.

Aparna said...

Thnaks. I'm just happy my experimenting turned out right.:)

the recipe for the tomato paste is in the post.

I've never baked gluten-free so i'm really not too sure. I've sent you a mail.

Jude said...

Looks awesome. I love how you used garam masala in it.

Cristie said...

You have some beautiful breads on your blog, just beautiful.