This recipe, and the next to be published, came about through two routes. Firstly, a blog reader question asking for a hidden vegetable bread recipe, possibly to encourage a little one to eat more vegetables! And secondly, with the summer vegetable glut in full swing, it seemed a good time to work on some new recipes that can help use up any extra vegetables you have.
First up, tinged red and lightly spiced, this bread captures the wonderful smell of sweet red peppers and cherry tomatoes roasting in the oven. Perfect just slathered with butter, or perhaps with a strong cheese melted on top for a tasty teatime treat. And pureeing the vegetables before you add them to the dough is also a useful way to hide vegetables for anyone who might otherwise object to them!
1 red bell pepper, stalk removed, deseeded and chopped into large chunks
125g cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ red chilli, seeds removed, sliced into chunks (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
250g white bread flour
250g malted bread flour
7g dried instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Place the chopped red pepper, tomatoes and chilli (if using) into a roasting dish, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Mix together the flours, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl, avoiding direct contact between the salt and yeast.
Put the cooled, roasted vegetables into a food processor and blitz them. I left a few chunks but you could keep going until you reach a smooth mixture.
Place an empty bowl or jug on your scales and pour in the vegetable mixture to weigh it. I had about 160g. Now pour in water to make up the weight of the mixture to approximately 320g (so I had to add about 160g water). Stir the mixture, then add it into the flours mix in the large mixing bowl.
Add in the teaspoon of honey, then mix everything together until no dry flour remains.
Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a clean, un-floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. Keep a bowl or jug of water to hand – if the dough feels a little dry, dip your hand into the water and knead using your wet hand to gradually add in more moisture to the dough.
Shape the dough into a rough ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for 1 – 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out of the bowl and gently deflate it by kneading it for a minute or two. Preheat the oven to 230C
Weigh your dough, then divide it into 10 – 12 roughly equal weight pieces. Shape each piece into a tight ball, tucking the sides under. Place the rolls on a lined baking tray and cover with a clean tea-towel or oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise again for 45 minutes to an hour, or until at least doubled in size.
Bake the rolls in the pre-heated oven for 10 – 15 minutes until risen and with a good golden colour. The rolls should sound hollow when tapped underneath. Cool and enjoy!
Hidden vegetable bread recipe variations
There are plenty of variations that you can do with these rolls. Firstly, the chilli is entirely optional. I have to admit to being a chilli wimp, so I didn’t use much! You can of course use more if you want to. You could also try adding diced olives to the dough along with the tomato mixture, or add in some dried herbs such as thyme.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, or have further breadmaking questions, do let me know in the comments! Or why not check out more breadmaking recipes, hints and tips on the blog.
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