bread baking day #19, spring country bread

if you recall, last month i decided to join in on the bread baking day fun with mansi at the fun and food blog for a quick bread bake-off.  this month, the festivities are being hosted by cindystar and she has chosen spring country breads in honor of the arrival of spring.  that seemed like such an easy challenge until i began to think about it.  i can think of breads baked for specific holidays but not something baked specifically for spring.  the search was on!  if there was a special spring bread out there, i was going to bake it.  
knowing that i had a few weeks to do this, i took my time.  i leafed through my bread books and searched the internet, repeatedly and nothing came to me.  there just wasn’t one single bread that screamed “spring” out to me.  let’s be honest, beside some hot cross buns, nothing even whispered the word to me.  time was running out and i still didn’t know what to do.  and then, the weather changed; it got unseasonably hot in nashville and the answer jumped out at me.  flatbread and salad for dinner.  one of our favorite meals would save the day!  after working in the garden, what could be better than a nice and refreshing green salad with some warm flatbread?
the book flatbreads & flavors, a baker’s atlas has lived on my bookshelf for quite some time.  many times i have sat down with it and read about the various places and the intriguing breads.  there must be one i could make, right?  after flipping through half of the book, i came upon pizza bianca.  how funny,  here i am with a book of exotic breads from places i will most likely never see and i pick a pizza recipe from italy.  with that in mind, i decide to change it up a bit to make it my own and help with the goal of using up stuff in the closet that my husband and i started on last week.
first i made a sponge using some semolina, whole wheat flour, yeast and water.
after letting it develop for an hour or so, i added some sun dried tomato pesto, some salt and  enough bread flour to make a soft dough.  using a tray to contain the flour, i kneaded the dough until it was smooth and elastic and then i let it rise until doubled.
i divided the dough into 6 pieces and flattened them out with my fingertips.  the dough rounds then went on a floured tray and were brushed with olive oil.  they went immediately into the preheated oven  and baked for about 10 minutes.
our dinner, salad with avocados, tomatoes, kalamata olives, garbanzo beans and cucumbers on a bed of mixed greens and served with caesar salad dressing and feta cheese and warm sun dried tomato flatbreads.  perfect on a warm evening.
sundried tomato flatbreads
preheat the oven to 450F, makes 6 rounds
1/2cup sundried tomato pesto
1-1/2cup water
1teaspoon yeast
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional for sprinkling on top of the breads
1-2 cups bread flour
olive oil for brushing the dough
make the sponge by mixing the pesto, water, yeast, semolina and whole wheat flours in a bowl.  cover it with plastic and allow to rest for several hours.  to make the bread, add the salt and 1 cup of the bread flour and stir it together.  place the additional cup of flour on a clean surface and dump the dough on top of it.  begin kneading the dough while incorporating the additional flour into the dough.  add more flour if the dough is sticky and if it is getting stiff, brush away the excess.  knead for about 8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.  divide it into 6 even pieces.  sprinkle flour onto baking sheets and press each round of dough into a flat disk.  brush with olive oil, dimple the surface with your finger tips and sprinkle with the salt.  place the pans in the oven and bake it for about 10 minutes, the dough will be lightly golden around the edges and on the bottom. 
see you next time!  be sure to check out the bread baking day round up when cindystar posts it on may 5

2 thoughts on “bread baking day #19, spring country bread

  1. Alisa, how funny reading your post!
    Your pizza breads are fantastic, I bet every Italian pizza maker would envy! Good choice with a rich salad.
    Thanks for participating!


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