Sundried tomato bread


  • 500 g Strong White Flour
  • 7 g fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 275 ml warm water
  • 3 x tbsp tomato purée or sun-dried tomato paste for a stronger flavour
  • 3 x tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g 2oz sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
  • coarse sea salt such as Gros Sel de Guérande
  • 1 x tsp dried oregano and extra to sprinkle on the crust


    step 1

    Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, dried oregano and sugar)in a large mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly using a bell whisk. Personally, I find this works far more effectively than using a spoon.

    step 2

    Measure out 3 tbsp tomato purée/ sun-dried tomato paste into a measuring jug, then add hot (from the tap) water to the 275ml line. Mix well using a mini-whisk. Next, add 3 tbsp of olive oil to the mixture and stir thoroughly. It may not look too appealing, but this has no bearing on the final outcome.

    step 3

    Next, create a well in the middle of the mixture and slowly pour about one-third of the liquid. Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, start to fold the dry ingredients into the liquid. Then, gradually add the liquid, and keep folding together until a dough ball is formed. The colour will change to a light terracotta/salmon colour due to the tomato purée. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, and knead for 5 minutes or so until the texture is no longer sticky, yet still elastic. You may need to sprinkle additional flour during this process, so keep some at hand.

    step 4

    Oil the same mixing bowl (saves washing up) with a small amount of olive oil, then return kneaded dough ball, cover with a tea towel or cling film for 1 hour, and allow to rise.

    step 5

    The dough should have doubled in size (maybe a little more). Remove the dough and flatten. Then, start to sprinkle the thin slices of sun-dried tomatoes (I try to keep as much space between the sliced for a more even distribution in the loaf itself). Fold the dough towards the middle, flatten again, then keep repeating until all the sun-dried tomatoes have been used up. Knead the dough ball for a couple of minutes, then mould into an oval shape and place on a baking tray. (Tip: I use a silicone non-stick baking sheet to line a baking tray and have been very happy with with the results).

    step 6

    Cover again with a tea towel, and allow to rise prove for a further hour.

    step 7

    Preheat the oven to 200C. Optionally, and to maintain a softer crust, pour 2 x cups of water into a tall-sided baking tray and put this in the bottom of the oven. As the oven heats up, as will the water. The purpose is to create a gentle steam, which in turn will result in a softer crust.

    step 8

    pUncover the loaf, and score the top using a sharp blade into diagonal lines, about 2-3cm apart. Gently brush or spray olive oil over the top. Then, sprinkle on top a combination of sea salt (my favourite is Gros Sel de Guérande) - a natural coarse grey sea salt) dried oregano, and gently press them into the top of the dough with the palm of your hand.

    step 9

    Bake in the oven for 30 mins. Once cooked, tun onto a wire rack and allow to cool. If you want to maintain an even softer crust, cover with a tea towel whilst the loaf cools down.