I used to love eating plain white sliced bread with a thin layer of margarine on top. When I was little I would roll the slice of bread up tightly and eat it that way, slice after slice. This was back in the days when carbs were not so scary.
I also remember a little restaurant in Costa Rica that we used to visit quite frequently. The food was decent, but we went for the complimentary bread – always homemade, and served with a homemade olive oil for dipping. I remember the bread flavours were magnificent – particularly the tomato bread.
There’s nothing better than a slice of warm, fresh bread. Alex bought yeast a few months back to make absolutely delicious cinnamon scrolls with cream cheese icing. I wish he would make them again… (hi honey!)
So with a few packets of yeast left in the pantry, I was trying to come up with something bready to make. So I thought… what could be more bready than bread?
I browsed some recipes and nothing really caught my eye. I ended up choosing a recipe that came with my loaf tin, which was a savoury bread baked with sunflower seeds, rosemary, semi-dried tomatoes and spring onions, all of which I conveniently had in my pantry.
I am glad I baked this bread because it made me realise how much I take bread for granted. Sure, store-bought breads are made with machines, but I am just imagining back in the day when people had to make their own bread. It would go stale very quickly but they would use every last crumb of that bread, regardless of how rock-hard it may have been. Now we have the luxuries of pre-made, pre-sliced, preservative-filled bread and freezers to match.
But yes, the kitchen was a bit of a mess afterwards. And so were my hands. But it was all worth it in the end – isn’t it always?
- 500g (17.6oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 7g (¼oz) sachet dry yeast granules
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 375mL (12.7 fl oz) warm water
- 2 tbsp semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- flour, extra
- Mix together sifted flour, yeast, sunflower seeds and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and water and start to mix. Add the tomato, spring onions and rosemary and continue to mix thoroughly.
- Knead for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and not sticky. Add more flour if necessary. Shape into a ball, place in bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave for 1 hour.
- Knead dough lightly for a few minutes. Place dough evenly into a loaf pan and leave for 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F (fan-forced 180°C/355°F).
- With a knife, make several slashes on top of now-risen dough. Put in centre of oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Loaf is cooked when top feels firm, and when tapped with knuckles it should sound hollow.
- Allow to cool on a plate. Slice when cooled.