Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sun-dried Tomato, Smoked Beef, and Cheese Bread

I woke up this morning with an unbearable desire for bread.

I am extremely grateful that Taiphoon Hayan did not pass Indonesia and being in the same region where it stroke, we still have downpours several times a day. But who am I to complain. I still have a dry bed to sleep on though it’s way passed its prime ten years ago and sturdy roof with leak spots bonus courtesy of a self proclaimed brilliant  architect my sister in-law recommended. Life is good.

Getting my chia seeds out of the fridge I saw a half full jar of sundried tomatoes and it just might be the perfect match for the bread I was about to make; rustic and bursting with flavors. Since I have absolutely no plan to go out and zero intention to cook lunch, the bread itself has to be dense and fulfilling enough to qualify as lunch. So, modifying the bread base of my Braided Pesto Bread I present you Sun-dried Tomato, Smoked Beef, and Cheese Bread. 

Bread Ingredients:
285 gr bread flour
15 gr wheat bran
3 tbs golden flax seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
-/+ 1 cup water
70 gr sourdough starter, optional

For The Filling:
8 sun-dried tomatoes, mashed
4 slices smoked beef, thinly sliced
Cheddar cheese, preferably old, grated
Dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, or rosemary
Egg wash, optional
Note: If you don't have wheat bran, just use all flour

-Combine all the bread ingredients. Knead well, oil the bowl, and leave it to proof until the size is doubled about an hour or so.
-Lightly oil your work space and roll your dough into a 12x18 inch rectangle then cut into three pieces on the long side.
-Spread the mashed sun-dried tomatoes evenly, scatter the smoke beef slices, grated cheese, and finish by sprinkling it with your herbs of choice.

-Roll each piece individually so you have three long rolls and braid them like you do the Challah then round them up together.
-Let the dough rise covered in cling film for 30 minutes then bake for 25-30 minutes in 215C oven.

I am not jumping with glee with the braiding this time because I put too much filling in one of the braids ;p that's nothing new. But nevertheless, the taste.. is impeccable!

The flax seeds in this bread give a nutty taste, lovely texture, and provide no argument about the health benefits they offer. The crust is so crispy and the crumbs are out of this world soft and delicious with a nice sourdough tang. This is also a kind of bread which taste improves overnight because the oil from the filling will be absorbed by the bread. So left overs are intentional.

You know you can always make a simple sandwich with the same filling combo of sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, and meat. But why take the simpleton way of eating if you can build layers and layers of flavors with the exact same ingredients?

Interesting things come when you're willing to take a journey further from your comfort zone. That being said, I'll brew some coffee because I'm off for some interesting adventures myself this afternoon with my books.

Have a dazzling rainy afternoon,

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