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Italian Bread with Roasted Vegetables
Sep 5th, 2008



I'm not sure why this recipe gets all coy and calls itself 'Italian Bread' rather than Focaccia, but it's a nice easy recipe and a good way to introduce some veggies into what is usually a pretty nutrition free dish (white flour, oil, and salt!).

I think you could easily play with the types of vegetables you use in this recipe - just keep an eye on the moisture content. You don't want it to get too high. As it is, the dough gets really slimy and disgusting when the roasted vegetables are kneaded into the dough, but if you perservere and get the mess into the baking dish it still bakes up golden and tasty.

This bread is great with tomato soup and a sprinkling of feta.


Italian Bread with Roasted Vegetables

1 cup water
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 sweet onion, 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peel on
6 sundried tomato halves, in strips
1/16 tsp sea salt, kosher or ground


Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl and let set until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the oregano, basil, and salt. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix thoroughly, adding more flour until you have a nice medium-firm dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and spring, at least 5 minutes. Place the dough in aan oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel and chop the onion and pepper, and crush the garlic. Toss the onions, pepper, and garlic with 1/2 tsp of oil in a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp of salt. Bake 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the garlic is soft. Cool before using. Peel the garlic and cut into small pieces.

Spread the dough into a large rectangle. Scatter the vegetable mixture evenly over the top. Add the sun-dried tomato pieces and fold in the sides. Knead the vegetables into the dough until they are well distributed throughout. Pat the dough into a greased 10.5-inch skillet or pie pan. Allow it to rise about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Make deep dimples in the dough with your fingertips. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 tsp oil over the top and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack before cutting.

-Graham Kerr, Day-by-Day Gourmet Cookbook
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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com