Rising and Running

Yesterday, I greeted the morning by lacing up my raspberry red Saucony’s, twisting my hair into a ponytail, and running through the neighborhood for the first time in 3½ months. As the breeze blew across my face and the sun warmed my skin, I smiled at the long-lost but familiar strain in my calves, then laughed aloud at my next thought.

 

Making bread is a lot like running. You stretch the dough (your muscles) and knead out the knots, let it rise and fill with air (your lungs, as your run), punch it down (the last few strides as you near the end), and bake it in a warm oven (the shower afterwards). Sometimes, you might mix extra goodies into the dough as little surprises (like bits of gravel hidden in the soles of your shoes).  

 

After running, I definitely crave bread, and this one even included my favorite vegetable, bell peppers. It tasted so delicious that I ate ¼ of the whole loaf as my dinner! My excuse? Carbo-loading for my next run.

 

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Bread

based on Favorite Low Fat Dishes’ “Savory Bell Pepper Bread” 

serves 10-12

This bread made my home smell delicious for days! Serve by itself as a satisfying snack, or pair with a simple soup or salad for a simple yet cozy meal.

3 small bell peppers, preferably different colors

1 c. sun-dried tomatoes, preferably dry packed (not in oil)

¼ c. boiling water

2 tsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

⅔ c. warm water

4 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp dried rosemary

2 tsp coarse salt

2 tbsp tomato paste

⅔ c. non-fat yogurt

  1. Preheat the broiler. Halve and seed the peppers, place on a broiler rack, and broil 7-9 min or until the skins are charred. (The more char, the easier to remove the skins!) Place pepper halves in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them sit for 10 min. Once cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and chop the flesh into bite-sized pieces.
  2. While the peppers broil, julienne the tomatoes (slice into strips), and add the strips and boiling water to a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let them sit.
  3. Add the yeast and sugar to a small bowl, and dissolve in the warm water. Let sit for 10 min or until frothy.
  4. Add the flour, 1 tsp rosemary, and 1 tsp salt to a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the yeast mixture. Add in the tomato paste, yogurt, peppers, tomatoes and their soaking liquid. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary. Place dough in a clean, dry bowl lightly coated with nonstick spray, and cover with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl in a warm place to rise for 30-40 min.
  6. On a clean, dry, and floured surface, punch the dough down. Place in a 9” springform pan lightly coated with nonstick spray. Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke indentations into the top of the bread. Cover with a kitchen towel, and allow dough to rise for another 30 min.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  8. Lightly mist the top of the dough with nonstick spray, and sprinkle with the remaining salt and rosemary. Bake the bread at 425° for 35-40 min or until the top turns light golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 min, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 

February 26, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides.

15 Comments

  1. valeriepassonno replied:

    Congrats on getting back into running! I’ve just taken it up in August for the first time in my life and LOVE it! And bread is a great post-workout food 😉

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thanks! I probably use the “post work-out food” excuse a little too much… But it tastes so good! Slightly random, but do you run with headphones and music?

      • valeriepassonno replied:

        Yes. When I don’t, I don’t seem to run as well. But I keep the music low enough I can still hear what’s going on around me (I run outside).

      • foods for the soul replied:

        I run outside as well, and I’ve found that if I listen to music, I run to the beat instead of following my natural cadence and stride. I’m just strange like that! :] That’s great that music works for you; I’m sure it’s easier to motivate and push yourself depending on your selection!

      • valeriepassonno replied:

        Sometimes at the end of my run it can turn into more of a dance than run if the right song comes on. 🙂

      • foods for the soul replied:

        Those are the best finishes!!

  2. savor the sweet life replied:

    I use the carb-loading excuse for myself lots of times when I workout. 😛

    • foods for the soul replied:

      I was hoping I wasn’t the only one! Is bread your favorite carb too, or do you prefer a different one?

      • savor the sweet life replied:

        I think bread is my top one…I absolutly looove bagels…but have cut back on how many I eat. I make my own now so as to make sure the portion isn’t out of control. haha. My boyfriend enjoys english muffins more, so I’ve converted mostly to baking english muffins.

        II usually try to stick some sort of nut butter on top of my toast or english muffin to make me feel like I’m getting some protein as well. I try to ignore the cravings sometimes but then I figure that my body is craving it so I should just give it what it wants instead of beating around the bush 😛

      • foods for the soul replied:

        Oh goodness, I really enjoy both of those! I’d love it if you’d share your recipes; I’ve wanted to make both for a while but haven’t found the time/courage to try. I typically go for cream cheese on mine, but sometimes plain is just the way to go. If my body wants bread with nothing on it, might as well give in!

      • savor the sweet life replied:

        I’ve got the recipe for whole wheat flax seed bagels on my blog and for whole wheat english muffins! I usually just make a pretty big batch and then freeze them for the rest of the week. Bagels, I find to be particularly easy because I make the dough in my bread machine. Both aren’t intimidating at all…let me know how it turns out if you decide to give either a try!

      • foods for the soul replied:

        Great, I’ll take a look at them then! I don’t have a bread machine, so I make the dough by hand, which can be fairly time-consuming. But there’s something I really enjoy about mixing and kneading the dough. It brings back childhood memories of baking bread with my dad.

  3. Best Meals of 2012 « Foods for the Soul replied:

    […] #1: bell pepper bread […]

  4. freesia19 replied:

    Reblogged this on A leaf of faith and commented:
    Made this bread last night, so yummy! Veggie friendly too.

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