Apr 21, 2012

S is for ... Sourdough (tomato recipe)

Step one -- The Sponge -- Mix. Cover. Refrigerate 8-12 hours
  • 16 oz pureed and strained tomato (Note: You can substitute tomato sauce/juice, or marinara sauce) 
  • 1 1/4 c sourdough starter (100% hydration, 1:1 water/flour ratio) 
  • 2 c All-Purpose flour

Step Two -- Flavor Enhancing -- Mix and add to sponge.

  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 2 t salt

Step Three -- The Dough: Work in flour in 1/2 cup increments until you can't stir it with a spoon anymore. Then turn onto floured surface and knead in more(3-4 cups flour total for this stage) until desired stiffness, then spray with oil and cover with either plastic wrap or a bowl. Rest one hour, it will develop more gluten while it rests.
  • If you want a free-form loaf, you'll need a stiff dough so it doesn't flatten out to a pancake during rise, so knead in however much it takes to make the dough not sticky, just smooth and elastic. 
  • For loaf pans, you can stop short when it's still a bit sticky.

Step Four -- Forming -- I usually use loaf pans, and this technique shows how to do both styles, free-form and loaf pans. The first two loaves are done the same way and that's what I used for the loaf pans, and the last is the round loaf. (As you can tell from the picture, I'm less good at the free-form loaves -- mine's all lumpy!)

Step Five -- Panning -- Whatever the pan style, lightly spray with oil and dust with cornmeal. It will stick without the cornmeal. After, spritz again and cover with plastic wrap. Rise to double, 1-2 hours

Step Six -- Baking -- Preheat oven to 365F and bake on center rack for about 30 minutes. I like to rotate the pans halfway through. Cool on wire racks.  (If you want soft crust, run a stick of butter over the surface of the top when it is hot.) Cover with clean kitchen towel and cool. If you cut it when it's hot and tempting, it will smash and gum up on the inside. Serrated bread knife necessary.

Makes best grilled cheese sammiches ever!


  1. You make it sound quite simple but I'm just not a baker and I guess I never will be. It does sound delicious though.
    A to Z of Nostalgia

    1. Oh, it seems simple at the outset, but it was harder to get to this stage than I care to admit! I do feel comfortable with sourdough loaves, and my experiments are never total failures(though it did take me 4 or 5 different batches to find a mix of tomato I liked for this one). And I've probably made 25-30 batches of sourdough since January. That's a lot of bread, and I've given a lot of good bread away searching for BEST bread :)

  2. Annnnnnd now I'm hungry. :)

    I really like baking desserts, but I haven't tried bread yet. I'll have to give it a shot!

    1. I am constantly looking for new ways to use my sourdough starter because I have to keep feeding it... and I don't want to throw any of it away!

      Hence all the experimentation to get the cinnamon raisin breads and the tomato bread. I've also tried and discarded the notion of a summer sausage and cheese loaf(I found I dont like summer sausage -- may have to give pepperoni a go instead), and also a brown sugar loaf(it didnt turn out how I'd anticipated).

      Soon coming: Apple & Walnut. I keep meaning to do it but so far I have repeatedly punked out on it when it comes to the fruit-adding stage.

  3. YUM! New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.


  4. It is tasty. Of course, I don't know how long it will last. I have a niggling fear that it might ferment and turn into tomato-wine bread, or something... Which I just don't think I'd want to eat! >_<

    Thanks for stopping by! I'm loving seeing what everyone comes up with for their letters too :)


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