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Spiced Tomato Swirl Bread

Posted Sep 15 2009 4:47pm

I enjoy baking bread and make a special effort to bake something especially for Bread Baking Day. This has helped me discover many new types of bread while improving my bread baking skills quite a bit.

So when Boaz of Grain Power, who is hosting this edition of BBD, announced “Colored Breads” as the theme, I was a bit nonplussed. I have never baked a colored bread though I have seen many such breads, most of which seem to get their colors from the flours that are used. This really wasn’t an option for me as that variety of flour isn’t available here.

After a lot of thinking, I came up with the idea of a swirl bread. Most swirl breads I have seen, both on the net and in books, are sweet. I wanted to make a savory bread and so I thought of making a spiced tomato paste, spreading it on the dough, rolling it up and baking it. But it seemed to me that perhaps the coloured layer wouldn’t be very visible.
That’s when I saw Arundathi’s beautiful bread for BBD and thought I would knead the tomato paste into the dough and roll both the plain and tomato dough to get a nice contrasting coloured swirl.

Here is the recipe I put together. I have used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour for the plain dough. I have used only all-purpose flour for the tomato dough as I felt the tomato paste might make the bread a bit dense and did not want to add to this by using whole wheat flour.


For the Tomato Paste:

1 big onion, chopped

3 medium tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1 tsp garlic paste

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tsp chilli powder

1 ½ tsp garam masala

1 ½ tsp mixed dried Italian herbs

1 ½ tbsp oil

salt to taste

For the plain dough:

½ cup warm water

1 tbsp honey

1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

1 ¼ all purpose flour

1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp oil

¾ tsp salt

For the tomato dough:

½ cup warm water

1 tbsp honey

1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

¾ cup tomato paste

½ tbsp oil

¾ tsp salt (remember there is salt in the tomato paste)


For the tomato paste:

Puree the tomatoes and onions together.
Heat the oil, add the garlic paste and the onion-tomato puree. Saute well, and then add the tomato ketchup, chilli powder and salt. Cook over medium heat till all the water has evaporated and the tomato paste is thick. Add the garam masla and herbs and cook for another couple of minutes.

Take off the heat and cool completely. This paste can me made a couple of days ahead and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before use.
This recipe gave me the ¾ cup tomato paste required for the tomato dough.

For the plain dough:

Mix the honey in the warm water and add the yeast. Stir till it dissolves and keep aside to prove.
Put yeast mixture and all the other ingredients in the food processor (you may knead by hand if you prefer), adding just enough water to knead into a soft and elastic dough that is just short of sticky.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise till double in size.

For the tomato dough:

Knead the dough as for the plain dough, using the tomato paste to knead the dough. You will not need water for this dough. Should you feel the need, sprinkle the water a little at a time. The dough should be soft but not sticky.

Allow this dough to also double in size.

To make the bread:

Gently deflate the plain dough. Using oiled hands, gently roll out the dough into a rectangle about ¼” thick. Similarly roll out the tomato dough into a rectangle of the same size. Gently lift the tomato dough rectangle and place exactly over the plain dough rectangle.

Now, from the shorter side of the rectangle, roll both the dough tightly together like you would roll a jelly/ swiss roll. Seal the roll and neaten the sides.

Place in greased loaf tin(s), or on a tray dusted with cornmeal or semolina, cover and allow to rise for about 20 to 30 minutes. Brush with water and bake at 190C for about 30 minutes till the bread is done and sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool on a rack. Slice and serve. This bread makes very nice sandwiches.

This recipe makes one big loaf or two small loaves.
This bread is my submission for BBD #14  and goes to Susan of Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting.

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