appetizer, Bread, breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Recipes, Vegetables

Tomato, Rosemary and Cheese Flat Bread

Most times, when I’m up to baking bread, I opt to my basic focaccia recipe. This time, however, I wanted something different, and started looking around, to see what I can add to the dough I was about to create.

As I had some tomato sauce ready, I was wondering, how it will work as part of the bread itself, rather than as a topping. This led to another idea – why not add some cheeses to the dough, along with it?

So, the basic plan was there, and all that was now needed, was to add a few more touches to the dough. Using different types of flour always creates an interesting texture, so I used a combination of white flour, whole grain spelt flour, and a small amount of semolina, which added a somewhat coarse texture. Freshly chopped rosemary it also found its way to the bowl, saving some aside, along with chopped sun-dried tomatoes , to be used as a topping for the bread.

Proofing the dough overnight in the fridge, allowed all these flavors to mix well, and created a highly flavorful and aromatic dough, with a lovely pinkish color and tangy flavor from the tomato sauce, and specks of green from the rosemary.

This tasty bread is perfect for serving for brunch, with some olive oil and reduced Balsamic vinegar for dipping, or at any other time of the day. It can also be toasted, and makes amazing croutons for salads. Try it and enjoy.  

Notes:

* The amount of dough is quite large, but keep in mind that the bread freezes well, in airtight freezer bags, for up to a month.

* The dough can also be divided in three, to create smaller and flatter breads.

* I used an assortment of Spanish cheeses (Iberico, Cabra Al Vino and Manchego), but any other sharp cheese can work just as well.

Makes: 35 (see notes)

Prep time: 30 minutes

First proofing time: 30 minutes

Second proofing time: overnight

Third proofing: 2 hours

Baking time: 35 minutes +

Ingredients:

For the tomato sauce:

10 oz (284 grams) cherry tomatoes (I used colorful)

3 garlic cloves, peeled, germ removed if not very fresh, cut in half

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix

1 sprig fresh rosemary

5 halves sun dried tomatoes

¼ cup water

1 Tbs olive oil

For the starter:

1 cup flour

1 packet (1/4 oz, 7 grams) dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

2 cups warm water

For the dough:

2½ cups white flour

2 cups whole grain stone ground spelt flour

1/3 cup semolina (+ for the pan)

½ cup warm water

5.3 oz (150 grams) sharp cheese, coarsely grated (see notes)

1 Tbs salt

¼ tsp freshly grated four peppers mix

2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary

For proofing the dough:

¼ cup olive oil

For topping:

Fresh rosemary needles

7 halves sun dried tomatoes, cut small

For serving:

Fresh rosemary sprigs

Olive oil

Reduced Balsamic vinegar

Salt cured black olives

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the tomato sauce in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Remove the rosemary sprig and blend with a hand blender to a coarse thick sauce. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. The sponge: in a large mixer bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and water. Cover and let sit until the mixture foams.
  3. The dough: add 2 cups of white flour, 1½ cups of spelt flour, the semolina and water. Start mixing slowly, with the dough hook, scraping the sides a couple of times. Increase the speed gradually and knead for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, cheese, salt, pepper and rosemary, and knead slowly, to incorporate. Add the remaining white and spelt flour, and knead again, scraping the sides a few times, until a moist dough is formed. Knead on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes longer.
  5. Pour ¼ cup olive oil into a large bowl. Add the dough, and roll it, so it will be covered with oil all over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes. Punch down the dough, cover the bowl again, and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day, punch down the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 2 hours, until the dough doubles in size. Punch down the dough and let sit for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a large sheet pan with baking paper, and dust it with semolina.
  8. Place the dough in the pan, and press it with wet hands, to spread it to the size of the pan. Using your fingertips, press dents all over the dough. Scatter the rosemary and sun dried tomatoes over. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the bread is nicely puffed and the top is golden. Turn the oven off, and leave the pan in it for another 10 minutes.
  10. Take out and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Using the baking paper, transfer onto a rack, to cool to room temperature, before cutting.
  11. Serve warm, with olive oil mixed with reduced balsamic vinegar, black olives and fresh rosemary.

48 thoughts on “Tomato, Rosemary and Cheese Flat Bread”

  1. You are so clever, I never would have thought to add a tomato sauce to the dough itself. It must be delicious. Split in half, a piece would be wonderful in a sandwich.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Dorothy, this bread was so tasty! It was definitely worth it, to take the risk and mix these ingredients into one bread. It is indeed perfect as a side for any dish, especially soups. I also made some very tasty croutons from the leftovers, so it even found it’s way into a salad! Definitely a keeper! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love sun-dried tomatoes in bread and fresh tomatoes too in your sauce – double your pleasure! Color is important in food and definitely perks up this loaf. Amazing the ingredients you used – I still basically follow a recipe and don’t experiment like you do. Looks like it was a huge success 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Judi, I enjoyed experimenting with there ingredients, and this bread was indeed a huge success. Definitely a keeper recipe!
      I usually use the sauce for pasta or pizza, but it worked so well here. It gave the bread wonderful flavor and color, and added nutritional values while at it. Win-win! 🙂

      Like

  3. Looks Amazing Ronit, can’t wait to try making this. I think it makes all the difference to let the dough rise in the fridge overnight, it really does result in a more flavourful, nicer textured dough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Maya, I’m glad you liked the post.
      I try to the recipes as accessible as possible, and appreciate you noticing! 🙂
      I hope you’ll enjoy this tasty bread. Looking forward to seeing your version. 🙂

      Like

  4. I don’t know why but your emails are ending up in my Spam file. Nevertheless I do find them even if a bit late.
    I enjoy making bread, I in fact make all our bread, and this recipe sounds good and I am looking forward to making it. Seems to be flavourful and yummy.
    Thanks Ronit, another lovely recipe. :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mary, I’m glad you liked the bread. It was indeed very flavorful, and leftovers make tasty croutons as well.
      I’m sorry the notifications end up in the Spam file, and thanks for putting the effort to retrieve them.
      Once you do, try to press the “not junk” button, so hopefully next time they will arrive properly. 🙂

      Like

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