Friday, November 5, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato Bread Fail or How I Wasted 24 Hours

I used to go to a restaurant that served an assortment of delicious breads: sun-dried tomato, olive, etc.  They were a bit stingy with the ingredients so, since purchasing the cookbook My Bread, I have been on a mission to make my own versions.  I didn't love the focaccia, but my pizza was fabulous; so, after finding a well-priced enamel-covered cast iron pot I was ready to give actual bread a try.

I started with 9 ounces of sun-dried tomatoes that I sliced into thirds and re-hydrated* by soaking in boiling water, covered, for 15 minutes, then drained for 1 hour.

Then I followed the directions for the olive bread recipe, adding salt.  For those of you keeping time: I finished the dough prep at 9:00pm on day 1.

By 4:00pm the next afternoon the first rise was complete, but the dough was looking a little soupy.

As I prepared the dough for the second rise, it remained extremely gloopy and required a lot of extra flour just to be handled.

After the two hour second rise I attempted to "quickly but gently invert into the pot".  The fact that the consistency was generally runny to begin with didn't help matters of transfer, but I also managed to burn my knuckle on the scorching, pre-heated vessel: causing the dough to unceremoniously plop in lopsided.  To make matters worse, the tea towel was admittedly over-floured...thus the blizzard.

I wasn't feeling optimistic but, to my surprise, halfway through the cooking time it was looking as though it might work out after all:

Out of the oven to cool: looking at least bread-like if not pretty.

And, finally: at 9:00pm on day 2, a full 24 hours later, it was ready to be eaten.  Sliced & looking good upon first inspection!

But, looks can be deceiving.  As it turned out, *I definitely shouldn't have re-hydrated the tomatoes!  The dough was completely soggy and each slice needed toasting in order to be edible :-(  FAIL!  Nothing like having to toast "freshly baked" bread.

I will try again, though, because I'm sure it will be really good when I get it right.  Note to self: do not re-hydrate the tomatoes and use half the amount cut into much smaller pieces.  Or maybe just make the olive bread.


  1. I for one appreciate a fail post. I mean come on, all this Vegan MoFo food can't be coming out perfect every time! I will say, the bread looked delicious! :)

  2. Thank you, JL; I really appreciate it!

  3. That's weird, because olives are kind of moist anyway, aren't they? Anyway, I stay away from any recipe with a rise time of more than 45 minutes ;-) And SECOND rises? Fuggedaboutit! I applaud your effort!

  4. Ah bummer!! I'm glad it's edible when toasted and not a total loss. I wanted to try making a loaf of bread from scratch during vegan mofo but I'm second guessing that idea!

  5. Dianne,
    I think olives are moist, but my tomatoes were kind of saturated. Thanks for the applause; I'd definitely try again.

    You should definitely try it. Even though the result wasn't perfect I still felt like it was quite the accomplishment (yeast never ceases to amaze me). Plus, if you use a knead recipe it wouldn't take anywhere near this long.

  6. I still think this look's amazing! I'm sorry it didn't come out as you were hoping, but I gave you props for diving in the deep end here.

  7. The bread that you make like that and then put in the cast iron pot is always VERY soft. But geesh, even when you dropped it and deflated it partially, it still rose up and became bread. Very cool to know. Thanks for your post. And it sounds really good toasted. I'd eat it for breakfast with sliced avocado on it sprinkled with garlic salt. YUM


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