when i was much, much younger, one of my sisters and i came across a bowl of what looked to be delicious cookie dough in a mixing bowl on the kitchen counter. with my mom out of the room at the moment, we took the opportunity to scoop up huge gobs and wolf them down, only to find out that what we thought was cookie dough was in fact cheese bread dough. i don’t care how much you like cheese, eating raw cheese bread dough is not a pleasant experience.
it didn’t ruin cheese as a whole for me, but i couldn’t bring myself to eat cheese bread for a long time. it wasn’t until years later that i accidentally ate an asiago cheese bagel and realized it can be one of the finer things in life. when i stumbled across this recipe last week for cheddar bread in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, i decided to give it a shot. it happened to be the same day the girl brought home a whole mess of farmer’s market tomatoes to roast, so we figured, why not?
making roasted tomatoes is staggeringly easy. here they are at stage one: the tomatoes are happy and healthy on a baking sheet, doused with olive oil, salt and pepper, and ready for a 300F oven.
stage two: 3 hours have passed, and the tomatoes are looking a little tired. you can see where this is headed. you could stop now, but we’ve only just started to see the potential locked inside these little beauties.
stage three: 6 hours have passed, and the tomatoes have become something else entirely, caramelized and flavor-concentrated beyond words. it’s amazing what a little time and heat can produce. eat them straight off the pan, toss with some fresh pasta or add to cheese bread dough and enjoy (once you’ve baked it, of course).
the bread is versatile, good enough toasted with a bit of butter, with hints of cheese and tomato throughout, but even better in sandwiches. the recipe below produces a bread with flavors that aren’t too overwhelming, but if you’re a cheese or tomato junky, adjust accordingly.