August 11th, 2009

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

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.

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

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?

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

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.

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

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.

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

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).

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

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.

roasted tomato and cheddar bread

roasted tomato and cheddar bread
adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. makes 4 1-lb loaves.

3 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
7 c flour (unbleached all-purpose)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
about 10 slices roasted tomato (or more to taste) – see recipe below

roasted tomatoes
1 lb tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt and pepper for sprinkling

1. to make the roasted tomatoes: preheat oven to 300F. slice tomatoes, place on baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. bake for 6 hours, flipping tomatoes halfway through baking time.

2. mix the yeast, salt, and sugar with the water in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). mix in the dry ingredients and the cheese without kneading, using a spoon or stand mixer. cover, not airtight, and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

3. the dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. refrigerate in a lidded, but not airtight, container and use over the next 7 days.

4. on baking day, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a  1 pound (grapefruit-sized) piece. dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 1 hour.

5. twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450F, with a baking stone (or unglazed quarry tiles) on the lowest rack. place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread. sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash across the top, using a serrated bread knife. leave the flour in place for baking; tap some of it off before eating.

6. slide the loaf directly on the hot stone. pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. bake for about 25 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm. small or larger loaves may require adjustments in baking time. allow loaves to cool before slicing and eating.

37 Comments for roasted tomato and cheddar bread - why not leave some love?

  1. Kelly Dee says:

    When do the roasted tomatoes go into the bread??

  2. Julia says:

    That looks so good! I may have to try it.

  3. love those pictures!
    very earthy looking.

  4. deidre says:

    the smell in the house as the tomatoes roasted was wonderful! however, 300 was too high — they were doing great when i checked at 1 1/2 hours in, but at 2 1/2 hours in, they were black! (don’t know why i didn’t smell that, but i was multi-tasking …) I wonder if b/c these were very ripe, home grown tomatoes, the sugar content was extremely high, and so led to their burning? (or was it the drunken multi-tasking …?) (yes that was a joke.)

  5. Tony says:

    the bread sounds wonderful – I’m glad you rediscovered the world of cheese!
    have you read Molly Wizenburg’s book, A Homemade Life? If you like recipes like this, I think you’ll love her book. She has a similar tomato recipe but with dried coriander. I didn’t have any coriander, but I tried it with dried thyme and it was awesome.
    awesome blog 🙂

  6. Kat says:

    Perfect timing. I just picked a bunch of tomatoes from the garden this morning and needed something different to do with them. They are roasting away now.

  7. Susan says:

    I just stumbled upon your site while looking up Peach Pie. I can’t wait to try several of the recipes. They look great!

  8. lululu says:

    probably it’s too hot this summer in BC, Canada. i’ve bought tons of tomatoes at a very low price.
    now, i know another way to use them.
    thanks for sharing.

  9. Josh says:


    I must say, I’ve quickly become addicted to your blog! I love the pictures and have a touch of envy on how good your finished products look. Keep up the good work!

    P.S. I have a second batch of peasant bread rising in the kitchen right now.

  10. Danielle says:

    Looks good! I am going to have to try out this recipe!

  11. Mimi says:

    Hi Pete,
    I just perused your whole blog. I love it.

    Why aren’t you sending your breads to YeastSpotting? I could have found you a lot faster that way!

    I look forward to seeing what you bake in the future. Everything you bake looks so yummy! I was especially lusting after the savory monkey bread you made awhile back. Yum!

  12. This bread looks amazing! Cheese bread is delicious, so I’m glad you finally discovered how good it is!

  13. Natasha says:

    I just found your blog and really like it! The Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day is a good cookbook. I’ll definitely have to try this recipe.

  14. susan says:

    hi there! this bread sounds so delicious. i’m not much of a baker but if were to bake i would definitely bake this bread!

  15. Stiffler says:

    where’s pete?

  16. f.sarah says:

    whr hav u gone?

  17. Kameran says:

    Hi Pete, I’m an avid reader of yours but I’ve never commented before because I don’t contain half the baking prowess of your regulars, but I love your blog and you’ve been MIA for quite some time now! Please come back, or give a quick update, please?

  18. Tomi says:

    Pete, what are you up to? It must be good because it’s been almost two months since we enjoyed a new recipe. Come back, you’re sorely missed!

  19. christina says:

    Quick question, I’m figuring you add the tomatoes when you add the cheese?

  20. VipMarts says:

    i would definitely bake this bread!

  21. dekvip says:

    I was just roasted tomato and cheddar bread ideas and then I read today’s blog and it made me happy.

  22. Monet says:

    I’ve been following your blog for awhile, and this is my first time commenting (a shame, I know). This bread looks amazing, and I’m going to be trying an adaptation of it tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  23. Tomi says:

    I don’t think this blog exists anymore, Monet,since it’s been nearly a year since a post. Take care, Pete. I guess I’ll move on.

  24. chitravesh says:

    i like this dis
    Banana Nut Bread

  25. Adrian Dey says:

    LuV that bread Pete,though the tomatoes go way better with sprinkled thyme,rose marry and garlic and…yes,salt and makes it a bit Italian..people please try this,its amazing!

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  34. Amelia says:

    In the recipe for “Roasted Tomato and Cheddar Bread”, I didn’t see instructions for when to add the roasted tomatoes so I Modified the recipe as follows: First I did not add the cheddar cheese wirh rhe dry ingredients. Make the dough without adding the cheddar cheese, But prior to baking roll out the dough, brush with olive oil and cover the dough with the roasted tomatoes and cheddar cheese and roll the dough from short side tucking in the ends. Follow the remainder of the recipe.

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