Tomato & Fennel Seed Bread

Tomato & Fennel Seed Bread

Tomato bread makes a great ham sandwich. Slice ham thickly and spread the bread with a little mustard mayonnaise, just as they do in Fortnum & Mason. It’s also great for dunking in some good extra-virgin olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.


  • 340g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (heaped)  sugar
  • 5g dried yeast (I use McDougall’s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 ml tepid water
  • 1 tbsp concentrated tomato pureé (tomato paste)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 6-8 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil),  drained & chopped


  1. Mix the dry ingredients. Sieve together the flour, salt, sugar and dried yeast into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add your wet ingredients. Rub the olive oil into the flour mixture, then add the tepid water, fennel seeds, tomato pureé and sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Mix to a loose dough (add a little extra flour if necessary) and turn out onto a clean work surface, lightly dusted with flour. Cover the dough with the bowl and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. You may need to add extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Clean your mixing bowl with hot water, then lightly brush the bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film. Place the bowl in your airing cupboard or beside a radiator. Prove the dough for about 1½ to 2 hours. The dough should have at least doubled in size.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 220°C. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and “knock back”. This means gently kneading the dough for a minute to knock some of the air out of it. Form the dough into a round loaf and place on an oiled and floured baking sheet. Allow the dough to prove in a warm place once again, it should rise by 1½-2 times.
  7. Glaze with beaten egg or dust lightly with flour. Bake for 25-35 minutes.

2 Responses to “Tomato & Fennel Seed Bread”

  1. 1 john November 5, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    did you forget something from the menu or include something too much in the title? 😉

  2. 2 Toasted Special November 14, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Forgot the fennel seeds! Thanks John, for the tipoff. You should be a proof-reader..

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