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!