litha/summer solstice sun-dried tomato bread

Recently on an AMA on my Instagram, someone asked me what my favorite way to celebrate Sabbats is. Now some of you may not have been following me for long, or maybe I haven’t been vocal about it much, but I am a carb-loving, POS. If it’s a bread or anything wheat based, I’ll probably take twelve. My heart genuinely weeps for my friends who have a gluten intolerance, truly, I mourn for you and I am SO sorry. The next time I do a bread recipe, I am going to try and do a gluten-free bread! So watch this space for that! Maybe some GF offering cakes! Wouldn’t that be fun!

This recipe you can either split into two, for small slices or put in one bread tray, for cold summer sandwiches. Your choice!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 ¼ bread flour (all-purpose is fine)
  • 1 ½  cups hot water + ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic or 2 cloves fresh minced garlic (I used dry)

Directions:

  1. Combine the active dry yeast, sugar and ¼ cups of hot water together in a small bowl or cup. Set aside to allow the yeast to activate. (It will become frothy if you’ve activated, if the yeast does not activate, try again, or get new yeast, this is an important step of the rising process).
  2. While your yeast is activating, combine the dry ingredients; remaining flour, salt, thyme, rosemary, and garlic, either in a mixer or into a large bowl with a whisk. Now if you’re reading this before you buy the ingredients, I want to explain that I chose to use dried garlic, instead of fresh garlic, as the sundried tomatoes are already quite wet, we don’t want soggy bread. So, the choice is yours, but this is why I chose dry garlic.
  3. In a food processor, put about half a container of sun-dried tomatoes in, including the oil, and mix on high, until you have a puree-like consistency. This is super hard to get perfect with sun-dried tomatoes, so just eyeball it, until it feels right.
  4. Combine the remaining 2 cups of hot water, with your activated yeast and olive oil.
  5. See option A if you use a mixer, and option B if you’re doing this by hand.
    1. With your mixer set to low/medium slowly add your liquid mixture to your flour. I prefer the paddle mixing tool, but a lot of people prefer the hook, again this down to personal preference. You can use the mixer to knead your dough for you, what we are looking for is a consistency that is wet, but not tacky. So adjust a little more water or a little more flour, as you see fit.Make a well with your dry ingredients, leaving a sort of donut shape in your dry goods. Pour the wet mixture into the well, and slowly fold in your flour mixture to its wet surroundings. We are looking for a wet dough, that isn’t tacky. So adjust a little more water or a little more flour, as you see fit.
  6. Place your dough on a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough gently to kind of flatten it out, as we are going to fold in the sun-dried tomato puree we made earlier. Basically what we want to do is make as many “layers” of tomato puree as possible, so we’re going to fold this like a sheet, to give it a sort of “marbleizing” effect when it’s done. Fold it in half, flatten it out, add another layer of tomato puree, fold it in half, and then in quarters. Start from the beginning again. Do this about 3-4 times. It fully depends on you, and how much tomato puree you’ve put in, and how much you like tomatoes!
  7. Shape your dough into a sphere, and it in an oiled bowl, and cover it with either a wet kitchen towel or cling film. I prefer kitchen towels myself. Now place your solstice dough outside in the sun, to rise for about 2 hours.
  8. Once your dough has risen, preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C). I prefer to keep this recipe in a bread tin as it tends to slip as it bakes. So whether you are making two small loaves or 1 full sized loaf, try and do so in a container of some nature, to contain the beast.
  9. In your baking trays, grease and flour them, to prevent sticking. This will ensure your bread will come out smoothly after baking.
  10. Bread should bake for 30-45 minutes depending on if you split the dough or kept it in a single loaf. Check the top for browning, once it begins to brown, put a knife in it, to check if the dough sticks. If it doesn’t stick pull that sucker out, for risk of burning, with the high oil count.
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Twenty Something. Wife. Cat Mom. Vegan Brat. Junkfood Enthusiast.

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