04 June, 2009

Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic Flavoured Whole Wheat Bread: From Baking Virgin!!!


Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic Flavoured Whole Wheat Bread

“Lady, you have been staring at me since last fifteen minute”, said handsome fellow with twinkle in his eyes.
“No I am not!” I said indignantly.
“Oh yes, you are. I am quite sure of it”. He was amused.
“Excuse me! You are imagining things”, I said trying to avoid his eyes.
“Its not the first time I noticed you looking at me ‘that’ way you know. I think I know what you want”, he said looking deep into my eyes.
“Oh, really? So you think you can read my mind? Tell me what’s in mind?” I challenged him as I was quite sure that he was bluffing.
“It’s very easy to read your mind. Well, I know for fact that you want to master me!”

And that’s exactly what I wanted to do all these years even when I was kitchen virgin!
I wanted to master him…

And at last I am happy to announce that I am no more a virgin, ahem, baking virgin is what I meant!!!

Ta-da… I baked bread!!! I did it!!! And how I did it!!!

I didn’t follow any recipes or cook books or any cookery shows to bake my first bread. Since my last successful story of baking Poolish Focaccia, I wanted to bake another batch of bread but I have been putting it off for long. Then last week I felt like baking something, anything from scratch! Since I was short of sugar and eggs, this idea of baking bread came to my mind. I sat back and thought of ingredients that go into baking bread: flour and yeast. Well, for the first time in my mind the thought of baking bread didn’t scare the hell out of me! My fear of handling yeast is wearing off as I am quite confident in making good batch of Naans and I felt pretty confident at using it in baking bread. It didn’t take me long to decide what I wanted in my bread and how I am going to bake it. And rest, as we say is history!!! ;)

I decided to stick with whole wheat and ditched the thought of using plain flour as I find the whole wheat flavour to be more to my liking and quite earthy. I decided to flavour my bread with sun dried tomatoes (as I had this bottled sun dried tomatoes nearing its expiry date), garlic (can’t get enough of it) and some dried Italian herbs. Since I was baking it for lunch of big bowls of Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup, and since I also happen to love the flavour of olive oil in breads, I used good amount of extra virgin olive oil. So the end product is Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic flavoured Whole Wheat Bread. I wanted my bread to be pretty basic and rustic looking, something that I buy from farmer’s market every weekend. So I shaped it into rough circle and made few incisions with knife and sprinkled generous poppy seeds on top of it. After few minutes of baking in my ancient oven, my kitchen smelled like bread shop that made us twice hungry! The upper crust was golden brown and little hard and the inside was spongy and well, bread-y ;) It’s a miracle we didn’t start tearing it off as soon as it came out of oven and stuff our mouth with freshly baked goodness! And boy!!! Did I master him or what!

Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic Flavoured Whole Wheat Bread

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Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic Flavoured Whole Wheat Bread
Prep Time: 15 mins (excluding resting time)
Baking Time: 35-45 mins
Serves: 4-6
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner
Spice Level: Low
Serving Suggestion: With Soups & Salds

2½ cups Atta/Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp/1 sachet quick action Yeast
¼ cup warm Milk
1 tsp Baking Powder
6-8 Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped into ½ cm pieces
¾ - 1 bulb Garlic, crushed to rough paste
1-2 tsp Dried Italian Herbs or any herbs of your choice
1-2 tbsp + ¼ cup or less Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Black Poppy Seeds or any topping of your choice
Salt to taste
Water to knead

Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic Flavoured Whole Wheat Bread before Baking

Preparing Dough:
Mix dry yeast in warm milk and keep it aside for 10 mins, by when the yeast would have started to react and bubbled.
Sieve whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt to taste in a large mixing bowl. Mix in chopped sun dried tomatoes, Italian herb mix and crushed garlic.
Make small hole in the centre and add yeast dissolved in milk along with olive oil and start to mix them well.
Slowly start adding water as and when needed and form smooth, pliable dough.
Cover the dough with cling film and let it rest for minimum 1½ hours till the dough starts to rise and doubles in volume.


Baking the Bread:
Preheat the oven at 220 degree C.
Line parchment paper on baking tray and spray it with oil.
Gently transfer the dough into centre of baking tray and shape it either square or rectangle or circle as I have done here.
Using a large knife, lightly press the surface horizontally and vertically forming squares.
Brush the surface with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, coating the top surface well and sprinkle poppy seeds or topping of your choice.
Place the baking tray in mid rack and bake it undisturbed for 35-45 mins depending on the type of oven. The bread should be backed well and the surface should turn golden brown in colour.
Place the backed bread on cooling rack and let it cool for 15 mins before cutting them into desired shape. When tapped, the bread should produce hollow sound which assures that the bread is baked well.
Cut bread into desired shapes and serve as it is or with hot bowl of your favourite soup and enjoy!


  1. OMG that looks really great....Loved the diamond marks on top..

  2. Sia, this bread looks gorgeous. Can't believe you were a baking virgin. Kudos!

  3. The bread looks delicious Sia!! lovely flavors..perfect with hot bowl of soup

  4. So when are you joining the daring bakers'?

  5. Love the rustic look of the bread. Bread with that bowl of soup makes a great combo.

  6. yummy... its been ages since I baked anything :)

  7. I always love reading the begning of your post, it is always so hilarious.
    The bread looks so good, i love the marks on top, it gives a real rustic look.

  8. The bread looks wonderful and perfect...lovely combo with the soup! This focaccia is new to me...I must try it :)

  9. Baking Virgin-------hehhehe nice name....pretty conversation between you two....bread looks yum....

  10. Wow! nice clicks ..lovely ...hey u r a perfect baker ...will try this soon ..u r tempting me soo much to bake :)

  11. oooh boy!! he is a handsome devil, to be sure ;) !!

  12. That guy looks really handsome, no wonder you wanted to master him..and to think of it you created this hunk all by urself..ha that's awesome baking goddess. I am yet to master putting anything in my damn oven other than frozen food...Wish one day I will be able to bake like u...sigh!!

  13. I am slowly building my confidence with baking bread. I love the flavors in this bread, Supriya! Perfect with soup or just as is. :)

  14. wow thats so gorgeous..i luv sundried tomato..gonna try this soon..thanks

  15. Wow, Sia! Baking bread right from scratch and that too without following any recipe! That's great. I have still not ventured into baking with yeast. Will do it sometime soon.

    The bread looks perfect and the flavors you have added are so good too.

  16. :)) Very funny post... and your bread looks perfect, too :)

  17. The sun dried tomatoes and garlic's pungent smell should have made this more aromatic!!! looks soft and flavorful too!!!

  18. Oh Sia, the flavors are all my favorite and serving it with a creamy tomato soup would take me to heaven. Virginity ? ahaha...thats a nice comparison. And I love this loaf.

  19. wow, bread looks great, i too have some sun dried tomatoes and thought of baking bread, i was looking into recipes, scared to try on my own..., you have done a great job their and very good presentation too..., and your begining of ur blog is very humours too....

  20. Nothing can beat the flavor of sun dried tomatoes & garlic combined. job well done Sia in creating such a handsome bread:-)

  21. nice and soft bread sun dried tomato and garlic ummm nice flavor too yum yum

  22. Hi Sups, so glad to see you baking now! :)

    Yes! It was SHOCK to see B'lore after 18yrs! It's a concrete jungle now, more like Bombay than a beautiful tree lined streets before. Where are they? Don't know what to feel, happy or sad!
    But glad to see friends and family, spend time. I should have gone in December, was sweating bullets and couldn't sleep at night even with mosquito net and fan on. It was terrible on the third night, had a panic attack and wanted to fly back. My friends convinced me everything will be alright and avoided going out in the afternoon!:D

    Yeah! First day, we went to Commercial street to see my beauty school(Susheela Vaswani's) where I got my diploma, couldn't find it! But shopped at Westside for Kurtis and ate and had fun. Wrong time to go, should have gone in December, will do next time. Parents are in Kengeri Satellite town, beautiful house with marble floor!
    Ate Jolad rotti oota etc non-stop. I have put on lot of wt., got to lose girl. Everybody would even force me to eat constantly!:P
    Have fun, see you in Fall! :)

  23. From being virgin..i mean baking V, to being No more v....we surely (and obviously )except u to be a Baking Mom soon...lol
    Ok before you grind ur teeth and search for some thing to hit me, let me calm you down by praising you, saying that this bread looks more delicious, overwhelmingly flavorful, and a healthier option, than the one we buy from baker next to our home.

  24. Inspired from you, I did my very first baking today.

  25. lol...that looks really good! Wonderful flavours.

  26. Congrats on such a healthy and flavorful beginning,hope to see many more:)

  27. Beautiful combo of soup and bread! That guy is really handsome.;) Pics are good as ever.

  28. hi,

    i want to ask u which blender/mixer u r using ?
    do post snaps of that

  29. hi,

    I want to ask you which blender /mixer u r using right now?
    pls do post snaps of that

  30. u sure showed him who's boss! Lovely bread.

  31. This looks really lovely! I totally enjoy making bread!

  32. Wow, gorgeous bread perfectly baked!! Can't believe you baked a bread for the first time :)

  33. @All,
    Aww... u lovely ladies know how to make my day! :) Thanks girls.

    Daring bakers????!!! ~Shudders~ girl, u have got very high expectation! :P

    @Sakshi & Kalai,
    I never dreamt of saying this. listen girls, baking is not that difficult! trust me and try some easy recipes like Biscotti.

    @Alka, u r saved just because I couldn't find that cane i keep in my kitchen ;)

    @Uma., wow! u go girl :)

    @Poonam, I have panasonic mixer grinder which I bought from India. its a heavy duty mixer grinder like sumeet, preeti etc and i use it for gring dosa and idli batter and all sorts of spice powders.

  34. Wow sundried tomato and garlic!!The name itself is making me drool..Perfect bread with lovely topping of black peppercorns.

  35. Wow you sure mastered it and how magnificiently

  36. that definitely doesn't look like a novice baking :)

  37. I always like ur small little funny stories. I love anything made with whole wheat!!

  38. As Sangeetha said, you didn't just master it (him?) but did it in style! :)
    So we can see more 'n more bread here?

  39. Wow! So u masterd it off! Cool.... I'm yet to try baking bread.....

  40. Handsome bread:-P.The addition of garlic and sun dried tomatoes makes it all the more tempting!

  41. Good job! Me happy with store bought dough and store bought bread for the time being. Dunno when I'll take the plunge :)

  42. Hi Sia! Glad to see that you have mastered bread baking on your maiden voyage!


    Looks super delicous - I'd want to read out and take a bite!


  43. That was some M&B introduction you gave :)

    The bread looks awesome !

  44. Wow...beautiful bread Sia! Loved the shape of the bread. Totally drool worthy :)

  45. Dear Sia,
    Thats a pretty fabulous attempt. Pics are so inviting. The writeup was funny, inspiring and tempting. Wow. Cheers!

  46. Ohh..this is really one handsome bread,with sundried toamto, so falvourful and loved the idea of sprinkling black poppy seeds, just loved it


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