Sunday, March 25, 2012

Short-Cut (10 minute) Sundried Tomato, Blue Cheese and Garlic Bread

There are few aromas more comforting and richly satisfying than the smell of fresh bread. I've been making my own bread for years, and while I find the all the measuring, mixing, and kneading somewhat therapeutic (especially the kneading!), my favorite part is that moment during baking when the first scent of the finished product begins to escape from the oven.

I love the way it starts out faint and haunting, and then expands to fill the kitchen with its earthy goodness. Soon it's seeping into every crack and corner of the apartment, and suffusing it with a healthy, homey glow. On bread-baking days, Matt says he can smell it from the outdoor staircase, beckoning him home.

Okay, so my love of yeasty goodness may be a little extreme, but I know I'm not entirely alone. I mean, why else would they make bread-scented air freshener! At least I'm not afraid to come by mine via a little old-fashioned elbow grease.

But, lest you think I'm some sort of salt-of-the-earth, back-to-nature, daily bread baker (there's nothing wrong with that, by the way, it's just not me), I'll admit that I don't always take the high road when it comes to homemade bread.  Perhaps the kitchen is cold, or I'm strapped for time, or maybe I'm just really, really hungry. Whatever the reason, there are some days when I just don't feel like waiting three, four or even five hours for a loaf of bread - I'm sure I'm not alone in that, either.

So, for those days, I give you this wonderful, short-cut recipe. The prep takes maybe 10 minutes, which means you can have a loaf of delicious, fragrant, artisan bread in less than half an hour. And the best part? Your nose (and tastebuds!) won't be able to tell the difference.

The combination of tangy sundried tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese, and sautéed garlic is one I heartily endorse (the blue cheese melts away as the bread bakes, leaving pockets of richness, and the garlic and sundried tomatoes capture a little bit of Tuscany - which is always nice on a Tennessee afternoon) but, you could try all sorts of combinations; olives, grated hard cheeses, Italian spices - the possibilities are enormous. What's important is that it's flavorful and fresh - oh yeah, and fragrant, too!

Sundried Tomato, Blue Cheese and Garlic Bread

1 package pizza crust dough (I used Pillsbury)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
Olive oil, for drizzling (about 1-2 Tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 420°F. Place a pizza stone in the oven to pre-heat, or cover a baking pan with parchment paper. In a small frying pan, heat the garlic and a small amount of olive oil over medium heat until it becomes golden and fragrant. Set aside.

Roll the pizza crust out into a large rectangle (this is where the Pillsbury crust comes in handy, since it's pre-shaped - just open and unroll) . Top evenly with sundried tomatoes, sautéed garlic, and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roll up the crust along the shortest side of the rectangle, to create a long rope. Press the edges of the dough to seal. Fold the dough into a figure-eight and tuck the loose end under. Place dough on the prepared pizza stone or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the loaf is golden - it should smell delicious! Allow the bread to rest and cool before cutting (although, if you absolutely can't wait, it tastes wonderful warm from the oven).

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  1. Perfect for those busy days. So many great flavors here it must be delicious!

  2. I love using ready made dough and spicing it up like this. This sounds fantastic!

  3. This sounds so good, I LOVE good bread! And I can't believe there's an actual bread scented air freshener!!!! What an awesome idea lol!!!!

  4. O my deliciousness! This sounds so good. My two year old loves blue cheese. Have you noticed the love of cheese, yet?! LOL! Thank you so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays. Stop back tonight for a bloglovin blog hop. If you're unfamiliar with bloglovin you can read all about it at

  5. My Mom keeps "bugging" me to learn to bake bread, I know I need to, and I just love fresh baked bread. Maybe this will be a good start for me :-) Thanks for posting this at Scrumptious Sunday!

  6. Rachel, I can't wait to make this great recipe, it looks delicious! Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Hi Rachel, I love baked bread and hope to one day take the time to explore some recipes and give it a shot. That bread just looks fantastic all I need is some butter and I would be a very happy camper. Thanks for sharing I'm gonna try this one.

  8. Very resourceful...I like how you can have that fresh bread treat without having to wait 2 or 3 hours!

  9. this looks amazing! Will have to try this sometime for sure! Thanks for linking to Tasty Tuesday... wanted to let you know you will be featured at this weeks party! Come by and grab a featured button if you don't already have one!

  10. kill me now. drooling and longing to make this for my fam!

    come visit anytime--great giveaway right here:



  11. Thanks so much for linking up last week! This is so yummy looking...I've featured you at today's Mop It Up Mondays! Have a wonderful week!