Related Posts with Thumbnails

Speed Up

>> Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you are into bread-making, you will know that slow fermentation is preferred since it gives the final products more flavors. With the help of a refrigerator, the dough can be left to rest overnight or longer. I have even encountered recipe for sourdough with three-day fermentation (excluding the week spent to create initial leaven). But life is more than waiting around for a loaf of bread. I would love to have more free time to bake. However, with tons of responsibilities together with the laziness on my part, it is not always possible. After work or uni, I opt for quick bread, which does not require or benefit greatly from slow fermentation. Flavored or enriched breads are the good choices here.

But no matter what bread you choose, some patience still is needed when working with yeast. The dough should be proved properly, and this takes time. If the weather is hot then fine, things will be done quite quickly. Nevertheless, in winter or on a rainy day, it seems to take forever. There are of course several ways this process can be speeded up:

  1. Put the dough (after kneading) in the oven with the light on and close the oven door. Remember to cover the dough well. This is what I normally do on a very cold day.
  2. If you want to speed up the process further, place a tray of warm water underneath the bowl containing the dough and process as method 1.
  3. Alternatively, put the covered bowl directly in the warm water-bath and let it rise outside the oven.
  4. Of course if your room/kitchen is warm due to heater/cooking process (ideally 27-30C), you can let the dough ferment there.

If you have more tips, let me know.

Back to the bread I am featuring today – Tomato and Marjoram Swirl Bread. It is a very lovely looking loaf and taste beautiful, too. The enriched dough is enhanced with the taste of tomato and fragrance of marjoram. I like to use tomato paste imported from Italy which normally tastes just right. For the herbs, add whatever you like – basil, oregano, rosemary or thyme… The choice is up to you. And this bread matches wonderfully with creamy soup.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tomato and Marjoram Swirl Bread

Adapted from The Baker’s Companion

Ingredients (yield 1 loaf)

¾ cup (6 ounces) water

1½ ounces butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp sugar

1¼ tsp salt

2 tsp instant yeast

½ cup tomato paste

1 tsp of dried marjoram or herbs of choice

3 cups (12 ¾ ounces) unbleached plain flour


Knead together water, butter, sugar, salt, yeast, ¼ cup tomato paste and 3 cups flour until the dough is smooth and soft. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise until doubled.

Gently deflate the dough, and pat it into a 6x10 inch rectangle. Combine the remaining tomato paste with marjoram and spread evenly over the surface of the dough.

Starting with the short side, roll the dough up to form a loaf shape. Place it seam side down into a greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch pan. Cover and proof until the dogh dome is 1 inch over the rim of the pan.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 35-40 mins. Remove from the oven. Turn out and cool completely.


I would like to submit this entry to Monthly Cooking Tipolog hosted by the lovely Sushma. Make sure to check the round-up for a lot of cooking tips from other bloggers.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Truffle 3:54 PM  

I am so envious you bake such wonderful breads. It's something I keep telling myself I really must start doing soon. Your always look both beautiful and delicious!

Asha 10:48 PM  

YUMMY!! How beautiful and what a combination!I am drooling at the bread:))

Patricia Scarpin 10:59 PM  

Anh, your breads always make my jaw drop!
I love making bread at home and your recipes are great inspiration - the combo of flavors you have here is just perfect.

Cheryl 11:42 PM  

Oh I want bread and soup now. What a lovely combination you made.

Sandeepa 11:57 PM  

Loved your bread and of course the tips. I am not much into baking and so those tips will sure come in handy when I do

Gattina 2:36 AM  

I love the idea of adding tomato paste into the dough! sure will come back again and try out this recipe :D

DEEPA 4:16 AM  

the best combho one must have ..bread and soup ....thks for sharing

Sushma 6:49 AM  

The Bread looks Wonderful and fresh ...The tips are great Anh and would definitely come very useful for a person like me who just dreams to bake a bread :-)

I really loved the combination of tomato and herbs ...Thanxs so much dear for participating


Anh 12:18 PM  

Truffle, take your time. I just start to do my bread recently :)

Asha, thanks. Your fruit bread sounds wonderful, too.

Pat, oh what a compliment! So sweet. Your breads are always so beautiful, too. It's good that we inspire each other. *hug*

Cheryl, the combo is perfect for the rainy season we have lately.

Sandeepa, hope this helps you. :)

Gattina, I am thinking to add pesto for some experiment. But the tomato flavour is very lovely.

Deepa, thanks for the sweet words.

Sushma, *hug*. I want to come over so you can teach me lessons on Indian breads. How's that? *wink*

Lydia 8:06 PM  

I, too, am an impatient bread baker, so I love quick breads. Tomato bread is something I just don't make often enough. Thanks for reminding me how delicious it is.

Angie 12:08 AM  

Anh, this looks so good, as with all your breads :)

For me, on a cold day, I place abt half 1/2 cup of water in a glass and place in the microwave. Zap it until it just starts to bubble(be careful as it can spill over easily). Then place the dough into the microwave and close the door. The heat and humidity would be trapped in, perfect for rising :p

Susan 7:11 AM  

Sorry, I don't have any other tips to offer. But I would like to offer my services as a taste tester if you're interested. ;) Your photo is delicious! Yum!

Nora B. 8:20 AM  

Beautiful bread. And thanks for the tips!

sher 3:34 PM  

That's just perfect! My favorite thing in the world is a freshly baked slice of bread. Would take it over the fanciest dessert! That looks sooo delicious.

Anh 10:39 PM  

Lydia, this loaf was my first try on tomato bread. I was surprised on how good it tasted.

Angie, thanks for the tip! I will use it in my next round (tomorrow if everything is normal) :D

Susa, my pleasure. How many slices do you want madam? ;)

Nora, thanks for the sweet words.

Sher, I too will choose fresh bread over desserts (not over sweet and buttery pastries though!).

joey 11:52 PM  

Beautiful and delicious! Love your breads :) (already have the onion and yogurt bread on my to try list) The way my kitchen feels now I could prove a ton of loaves (i.e. HOT) !

SteamyKitchen 2:26 AM  

you are so good at baking! i wish i could bake this beautiful!

Freya and Paul 3:33 AM  

Ooh, fascinating article and the bread looks great! I love the idea of the savoury swirl!

Precious Moments 1:51 AM  

Anh, you are getting really to be a bread expert now. me can only envy. :(

Sharmi 1:06 PM  

Hi Anh, how are you? your swirl bread makes me crave for some. such lovely texture and pics rock.

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog. Your comments mean a lot to me. Thank you!

Blog Directory for Sydney, NSW Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  © All contents copyrighted to Anh Nguyen unless otherwise stated

Template Simple n' Sweet by 2009. Modified by Anh Nguyen

Back to TOP