Cherry Tomato Baguette
Great minds think alike! 😉 Jeff and I both felt compelled to blog about tomatoes this month. Probably our last ditch effort to use them before we head into the tomato-free season of winter. I swore I’d learn to can this year, but alas the summer and all of its gorgeous fruit has come and gone and I have nothing to show for it. So in these last days of summer we cling desperately to what will soon be just a lovely memory, the tomato.
My husband and I spent a long weekend in June eating our way across the island of Manhattan. I can honestly say that I’ve never eaten that much in such a compressed amount of time. One of our first stops was the Sullivan Street Bakery, owned by the fabulous baker Jim Lahey. He is an artist and master with traditional methods of bread making. Among his line up of tasty, crunchy, chewy breads was a baguette studded with cherry tomatoes. After trying one of just about everything in the store we took one of these baguettes to go. I thought we’d save it for a snack in the hotel, but it was gone by the time we got off the subway.
I made this loaf using our Master dough. First you want to shape it into a thin baguette as I’ve shown here.
Preheat the oven with a pizza stone on the middle rack to 450°.
Once you have the baguette formed and it has had a chance to rest for about 30 minutes. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make an indentation along the length of the baguette.
You want to compress the dough about half way through its thickness, not all the way to the bottom.
I used purple heirloom cherry tomatoes, but the more traditional red ones are the kind Lahey used and just as gorgeous. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut side down in the indented part of the dough. You want to make sure you really press them in well so they don’t pop right off as they bake. Slide the baguette onto your preheated pizza stone, add steam in a broiler tray on the bottom rack and bake for about 30 minutes or until nice and caramel brown.
It is outstanding dipped in olive oil or served with a lovely cheese. We ate the baguette with my ultimate comfort food, spaghetti and meatballs!
34 thoughts on “Cherry Tomato Baguette”
Ooh, such a beautiful bread!
I have recently bought your book and have been enjoying baking my own breads. . .thanks!
Thank you so much,
I’m so pleased you are baking your own breads. Do try this one before all of the wonderful tomatoes are gone!
this looks lovely! I thought the tomatoes were grapes at first — which would also be delicious — but tomatoes are perfect for late summer. yum. can’t wait to try it!
Great idea, unfortunately Cherry tomatoes disappeared from the markets in Islamabad since 6-7 weeks now, we’ll have to wait for the next season, I guess, shame, the baguette looks so appetizing.
Hi Alexandra’s kitchen,
That is a brilliant idea! So glad you thought of it.
What IS at the market in Islamabad that you could use? I’m sure you can find something that would be amazing.
Well the season is ripe for mangoes…great ones really but never thought of them in a bread….peaches; could try a jam… but otherwise nothing much survived the scorching heat.. can’t even find dill nowadays. vegetables: okra, aubergines, zucchini, beans are ok, otherwise we have to wait until it cools down in the next few weeks, any ideas, we will try.
Good weekend from us
S & S
I see what you mean. It could be interesting to cut wedges of the aubergines, toss them with salt, pepper and olive oil, then poke them in the top. I think they would soften up nicely and perhaps act almost like a Baba ghanoush???
It may be worth a try. Good luck with the heat. I’m impressed that you are firing up your oven considering the heat wave.
Have fun, Zoë
Gorgeous! What a great idea, and served with spaghetti, it sounds delicious.
Awesome idea! I can see all kinds of different shapes decorated this way.
I am inspired by Stefan to try all sorts of things popping out of the loaves. Simple and fun!
There is still an abundance of tomatoes here in Pennsylvania. My garden is just bursting with cherry and pear tomatoes. Can this be made with a wild yeast sourdough starter?
It can be made with a sourdough starter. We suggest about a cup of your starter per batch of the master recipe. Be prepared to let the dough rise for several hours. It is very tasty, but obviously no longer a quick loaf.
This looks like a fabulous way to use up the last of the seasons cherry tomatoes! I notice that you’re baking them on parchment here, I’ve had a big problem with any sort of paper sticking to the bottom of my bread whenever I try it. Do you use copious amounts of cornmeal to prevent that?
I have only had that happen once, when I was testing a paper that was coated, almost like wax paper. I don’t generally use any cornmeal when I am using parchment. If your paper is sticking you certainly could try using some cornmeal or just eliminate the paper all together.
Good luck and enjoy all of those cherry tomatoes.
That is one amazing jeweled loaf! I am growing some sweet grape tomatoes and I’ll definitely have to try this bread.
just got your book, may need to buy more for christmas gifts!
Do you have any thoughts / advice on adjusting for Canadian all purpose flour? I am told it is different to U.S., higher protein content I think.
I do think your flour is higher in protein as you mentioned. Depending on the type of flour you may need to add 1/4 cup more water to the dough. If you can tell me what kind of flour it is exactly I can give you a more exact amount to try.
Thank you so much for trying out the bread!
Despite the Marriott bombing and all the tension, I got some nice aubergines and tried your idea..the bread looks great, will upload the pics in a few minutes, I am waiting for it to cool and Susan and I will try it, will report further, let’s see how it tastes.
S & S
I’m so pleased to hear from you. I was thinking about you all weekend. Great to hear that you are okay.
Please do send pictures when you get a chance.
Tastes great…you should try it; the olive oil spreads around the area of the aubergines and gives the crumb a delicate taste; I liked it very much, let’s see how you will find it. I would add some garlic to the aubergines to give it a more Mediterranean air.
Thanks for the idea…will do it again, I can imagine how the cherry tomatoes would be, I will try with the end of some Romas.
Thanks for thinking about us Zoe; thank God we are OK, luckily we were nowhere near the disaster..
the pics are on page 2 at the end of:
have a good day,
The pictures are fantastic! You have been busy baking, haven’t you. I can’t wait to try the aubergine, it turned out beautifully.
Thanks again! Zoë
I really like your book and ideas Zoe. FYI, for steam in my home oven I use a cheap insecticide sprayer that I picked up at Wal-Mart (that is bran new and never been used). I just fill it half full of water, pump it up to pressure. As soon as I slide the bread onto my tiles in the oven I give it a quick spray and the results are AMAZING. The results are just as good as my comercial hearth oven in the bakery I used to own.
This is also a great option for those with professional ovens, that don’t trap steam. You have to spray it a few times in that case.
Thanks for sharing your tip!
I made the tomato baguette this morning and used both red and golden tomatoes on the baguette. It didn’t look as beautiful as the photo you posted – but still tasted wonderful. I made a boule and the baguette at the same time.
This is the first baguette I’ve ever made and I really appreciated the detailed instructions and photos you’ve posted here.
I’ll definitely make this again. It’s delicious!!!
I’m going a spanish themed party on saturday evening and am supposed to bring some tapas – I’ve been searching for recipes … do you have any ideas/suggestions ?? It would be great to do something with a bread from your cookbook.
Hi Doreen: My favorite simple Spanish dish is gazpacho, and we did a recipe in the book. It’s not exactly tapas, but you could make a crusty bread and serve the gazpacho in little glasses. I use an old book for tapas– Maruja Hatheway’s “Authentic Spanish Cooking;” your library may have it. There’s a great tapas chapter. Buen provecho! Jeff
Thanks Jeff – and yes – that was me over at twitter. I followed you over there to see what twitter is all about.
Pardon this rookie question, but providing I can get to the store in this bad weather to get the yeast I plan to mix up the Boule dough today in hopes of making plain Baguettes on Wednesday. In these photos it looks like you baked the baguettes on parchment paper. Is that correct, and is that how you recommend I bake them?
You don’t have to do them on parchment, though parchment never sticks. I usually use cornmeal as in the book. Another option is a silicone baking mat or a greased cookie sheet.
If you use parchment, silicone mat, or cookie sheet, remove the loaf from it and bake on a bare shelf or the stone for the last third of baking or the bottom crust won’t get crisp.
So glad you will be trying it! Yes, I like to bake the baguettes on parchment or even on a perforated baguette pan. I find it slides into the oven without sticking and for a baguette that is perhaps more crucial than a boule shape. Having said that, I have baked dozens or more using nothing more than flour on my pizza peel. Try both and see which way you prefer.
I would like to make Vietnamese baguettes for Banh Mi using your no knead baguette recipe I’ve had so much success with. The recipe I found uses some rice flour – have you ever experimented using rice flour and would that make the baguettes less chewy and more soft like used for Banh Mi?
Judy– rice flour has no gluten at all. In unstored dough, I can see where it might create a very tender crumb. But… I’m a little concerned that there’d be over-density in our stored method. You might be able to counter that by using vital wheat gluten (see our FAQs page and click on the question about vital wheat gluten. You usuALLY need to increase water in a recipe when you add VWG, but the rice might make that unnecessary.
I’m a little skeptical, but could be worth a try… Jeff
Absolutely stunning loaf – bravo!!