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Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Bread

February 4, 2015

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What is “Southwestern Cuisine”?  Some food history enthusiasts see it as a particular culinary movement influenced by Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and cowboy food  that began during the 1980’s. Other may view “Southwestern” food as the fusion of the food of these cultures that has been developing into regional traditions throughout states like Texas,  New Mexico, Colorado, California for at least a couple of centuries.  Either way, the food is characterized by bold, rustic flavors with  chiles, corn, tomato, beans, and of course meat and poultry faring prominently.  Trying to define “Southwestern”  food  has had me looking down a wormhole that I’m not ready to go down yet.  Is Tex-Mex considered Southwestern food?  This bread, though not traditional,  includes  jalapenos,  tomatoes, and  cornmeal in addition to  wheat flour.

The reason for this bread really is to celebrate the One Year Anniversary of “Fiesta Friday” ,  a virtual potluck of foods hosted by Angie of “The Novice Gardener”.  This brilliant idea of a virtual weekly event has brought together many food bloggers together to share their labor of loves.  The passion and creativity behind the food is always truly inspiring.   There are usually  vegan and vegetarian options as well,  so there is something for everybody.   I bring this bread to acknowledge Angie’s  tremendous hard work and commitment it takes keep this weekly event going.  I’ve seen that it has added much fun and joy to blogging for so many.  This simple bread is not a tour de force appetizer, entrée,  or dessert you’ll regularly see at Fiesta Friday,  but I think it’ll make a decent accompaniment.

I have to admit though that this recipe needs tweaking.  The crumb was tighter than I would have preferred and that was no doubt caused by the use of cornmeal and whole wheat flour.   Leaving out the cornmeal I think would give it a more airy and tender crumb.  The cornmeal didn’t add much flavor either.  I think I would prefer a simpler flavored dough to let the roasted tomato and jalapeno flavor come out more.  This bread deserves an updated and revised recipe.  I may include the new improved version at this post.

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For 2 large or 3 medium size loaves.

Pate fermente:

3 cups bread flour

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups water

Cornmeal soaker:

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup water

Slow roasted tomatoes:

3 # ripe tomatoes or 3 pints cherry tomatoes

Olive oil to drizzle

Fire roasted jalapenos:

1 to 2 medium size jalapenos depending on how spicy you want the bread

Final dough:

All of pate fermente

All of cornmeal soaker

2 cups bread flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 3/4 teaspoon yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

All of the roasted tomatoes

The fire roasted jalapeno pepper

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To make the pate fermente mix the bread flour,  yeast, and salt together in your mixing bowl.  Add the water and stir to form a loose shaggy dough.  Mix on the recommended speed for your mixer until it is smooth and elastic,  about 5 to 7 minutes.  Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.  Move the dough around so that all sides get oiled.  Cover with plastic and let it sit to ferment until it is about 1 1/2 times larger in volume.  Carefully degass the dough to reduce it to the original size.  Cover it again with plastic and store overnight in the refrigerator.

For the cornmeal soaker mix well together the cornmeal and water in a small container. Cover with plastic and let it sit at room temperature overnight.  This helps soften the cornmeal and develops a little flavor.

To roast the tomatoes,  slice them in half,  place them cut side up on an oiled baking tray, and drizzle lightly with oil.  Put them in an oven preheated to 225 degrees and roast for 5 to 6 hours.  Cherry tomatoes will take less time,  maybe 3-4 hours,  so watch them carefully.  Sometimes I prick the tomatoes with a fork from time to time to help evaporate the liquid.  The tomatoes should shrink, lose most of their moisture,  and develop a more intense flavor.  You can do this the night before and then store in the refrigerator.

To fire roast the jalapenos,  place them above a flame on your stove top and char them slightly.  If you don’t have gas flame,  you can also roast them in your oven.

On baking day,  remove the pate fermente from the refrigerator about an to 1 to 1 1/2 hours before you begin to allow to get to room temperature.   Rough chop the tomatoes and allow to reach ambient temperature.  Finely chop the jalapenos as well.  Include most or all the seeds depending on how spicy you want the bread to be.

When the dough is ready,  cut it into about 10-12 pieces with a knife or pastry cutter.  Put the pieces in your mixing bowl along with the bread flour,  yeast,  salt, and cornmeal soaker.  Mix everything together well with a spatula to form a loose dough.   If the dough seems too dry, add some water it get it manageable enough to knead.  Now mix with the paddle attachment for 3 to 4 minutes.  Begin adding the chopped tomatoes and jalapeno.  Depending on how moist they are,  the dough may get wetter.  Add bread flour as necessary as you continue adding the rest of the tomatoes. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and elastic. This should take abut 5 more minutes.

Remove the dough from your mixer,  form it into a ball, and place it in an oiled bowl.  Roll the dough around to get it oiled on all sides. Cover with plastic and let it ferment until it doubles in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl,  lightly degass it,  and divide it into 2 or 3 portions.  Form them into a  round shape.  Put each on parchment paper (if using a baking stone),  lightly oil them with spray oil,  and cover with plastic.  If not using a baking stone,  put them on an oiled baking tray. Let them proof until just about twice in volume.  While they are proofing,  pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees.  Be sure to put your baking stone in place if you have one. The parchment paper makes it easy to transfer the dough from your counter to oven.

When the dough is ready,  lightly top with cornmeal, and slash them as desired.  Place them in the oven.  Spritz with a water mister to simulate steam.  Do this 2 more times,  within 10 mintutes and lower the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake until they reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees,  about 20 to 25 minutes.  Put them on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes:  The trickiest part about mixing the dough is keeping it from getting too wet while adding the tomatoes.  If you didn’t fully roast them,  they will release much of their juice,  requiring an addition of flour.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2015 6:45 pm

    The colours are stunning, Gerard! And I have to say, your headnotes are excellent – just what ‘Mexico: the cookbook’ needed 😉

  2. February 5, 2015 12:10 pm

    This sounds gorgeous. I’ve just got into bread making and love the sound of this. Perhaps leaving the bread to proof in the fridge for a little longer might result in a more open crumb? Can you do that with yeast? Thanks for sharing this with the Fiesta Friday crowd!

    • February 6, 2015 4:20 am

      Hi Selma, Thank you for the nice comment. Your suggestion of leaving the dough longer in the fridge might help. It would be interesting to find out!
      Thank you for co-hosting Fiesta Friday!

  3. February 6, 2015 3:43 am

    What a brilliant bread to share at FF Gerard! Your breads have always inspired me. Using slow roasted tomatoes and fire roasted jalapeños in a bread must be amazing with cornmeal going on! Must be a very rustic artisan flavor!

  4. February 8, 2015 1:41 am

    Another excellent bread recipe to add to my collection, Gerard. Thank you! 🙂

    • February 8, 2015 1:08 pm

      Thank you Angie! I had hoped to get it in a little earlier.
      As I write this, I’m working on a revamped version with a few adjustments for a new and improved loaf.
      Congratulations again, hoping this is the first anniversary of many more to come!

  5. ReloNavigator permalink
    April 5, 2015 6:45 pm

    Thought I check on your Easter Dish … Happy Easter to you and your loved ones – https://relonavigator.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/easter-brings-you-joy-peace-and-love-with-new-perspectives-within/

    • April 5, 2015 11:00 pm

      Thank you for the well wishes and for visiting! All the best to you and your family this Easter.
      I appreciate that!

  6. June 11, 2015 5:04 pm

    These are beauties! I love the color! How are you? I hope you survived all the flooding we’ve been hearing about. Stay safe.

    • June 11, 2015 11:45 pm

      Thank you Marcella! Nice to hear from you! I’ve been doing fine. The recent flooding was devasting to many residences in and around Austin mostly because of large creeks. It’s amazing how much water can build up from them. The problem is that there isn’t enough topsoil around them to absorb the water. My neighborhood is not a flood area so this section of town did ok. Wimberly Texas, about 20 minutes away and which you may have also seen images of was a disaster area because a river runs right along it. It’s a nice picturesque little town which draws tourists and visitors. Many people from the surrounding areas own land and small houses to use as weekend or vacation getaways. Many of these houses were sadly destroyed or swept away. The last time anything like this happened was in 1981. It kept reminding me of the Stevie Ray Vaughn song “Texas Flood”.
      I haven’t posted anything in a while but I’ve been trying the last couple of weekends. I can’t wait to get something in this time. I cook 8 to 10 hours a day at work and don’t always feel like getting back in my home kitchen right away!
      I hope you are keeping well!

      • June 12, 2015 4:22 pm

        I’m glad to hear that you are fine. I don’t know the Stevie Ray Vaughn song, but I will keep my ear out for it. I drove through a deluge just to get to the library this morning. I try to time these downpours so that I am in them. I look at them as a “free car wash” : – ) But I will say that this time it was pretty bad and I was shaking by the time I got to the library. June is just a bad month weatherwise in Indy. It would be hard to come home from cooking all day and then cook some more for a blog! I have been thinking of moving to another city for a long time now and just can’t seem to find a place that has what I want. I was thinking of Madison, WI but then I found a newspaper article online about a widespread flood situation in 2013 I think it was. So that put a damper on that although I haven’t ruled it out entirely. I live between 2 creeks and one of them overflows but never enough to effect my house or even my street. I planted 4 trees in my backyard years ago and they absorb water very well. You might want to pass that along to any friends near flood areas. I think I would be inconsolable if I lost my house due to flooding. I don’t see how some people can continue to live in the same place after a flood. I know I couldn’t. Anyway, good to hear you are A-OK and hope that the weather calms down!

  7. July 17, 2015 2:42 am

    Impressed with the complexity of your processes. Would have loved to taste it!

Trackbacks

  1. First Fiesta Friday Anniversary (Part 2) | The Novice Gardener

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