This month our host for What’s Baking is Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks, and the chosen theme was Baking Bread! I’ve had my eye on this tomato-basil bread for quite some time, but never remember or think to make it. This challenge is exactly what I needed to finally get it done!
I forgot to cut the cute little slits in the top of the dough, so got these less attractive splits in the bread. But hey, it’s the flavor that really matters, right?? And while subtle, this bread has great flavor. I think from the original author’s pictures, I expected some knock-you-down tomato and basil flavored bread, but it did not turn out that way for me. More like regular bread with a hint of tomato and basil. Which is still good, don’t get me wrong!
And just imagine a couple of slices of this bread with some turkey, your favorite cheese, lettuce, and avocado sandwiched between….YUM!
I also wished I had used a smaller loaf pan than the traditional 9×5, so that the slices would have been a little…taller. But it’s probably better for me that they were smaller slices anyway since we try to limit our bread intake where we can.
Be sure to check out the round-up of bread recipes on Heather’s blog later this week!!
Tomato Basil Bread
As seen on The Keenan Cookbook
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced (or 2 Tbsp dried basil)
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- Pour water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top of the water. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes until it looks foamy.
- Stir in the basil, cheese, tomato paste, honey, oil, salt, and pepper flakes, Then stir in the flour, mixing to form a stiff dough.
- Now you can either turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until elastic, or toss it in your stand mixer with the dough hook and mix for 2-3 minutes until elastic.
- Poor a little olive oil into a large bowl (I prefer glass bowls) and swirl it around the bowl before placing the dough ball in there. Turn the dough to coat with the oil, then cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place it a warm place to rise for an hour. It should double in size.
- Remove the plastic wrap or towel and punch dough down, knead for 1 minute, then place into a greased loaf pan. Cut 3 cute little diagonal slits across the top of the dough with a sharp knife, cover, and let rise for 1 more hour.
- Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from the loaf pan and slicing. (Or you can remove the loaf to a cooling rack if you prefer.)
This sounds delicious! I am going to give it a try!