Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tomato Basil Bread

I made bread. I haven't made bread for a LONG time.  Seriously long. 

I no longer have a bread maker.  We had one about 7 or 8 years ago and made several loaves.  But that seemed like almost cheating. 

This was fun. I got to knead it, roll it, punch it and watch it rise.  Clearly I get amused easily.  :-)

I actually ended up making 2 loaves.  The first didn't rise as much as it should. I forgot that it really needed a warm place to rise and it was a cool day and the window was open.  So the first was really sort of an experiment.

I baked it and it was good.  Not as fluffy as it should have been but still good. 

I felt it needed a bit more flavor so I added a bit more tomato paste and basil to the second loaf. 

This one rose nicely and turned out awesome. Except THAT one, I forgot to make the X on top so it wasn't as pretty.  Not sure if there is another reason for the X.

I made a fantastic Panera copycat recipe with this bread, the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich with Pesto Hummus. It was SO GOOD. Seriously, my favorite sandwich in the world. No joke.   

Tomato Basil Bread

1 package yeast or 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. tomato paste (bit heavy on this)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 - 1/5 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.  Stir in basil, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 cups of flour.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough. 

Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 - 5 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Punch down dough, knead for 1 minute.  Shape into a round loaf.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled about 1 hour. 

With a sharp knife, cut a large X in top of loaf.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Total calories = 1460 calories

More you might enjoy!

Cheddar Garlic Drop Biscuits

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Apple Cheddar Muffins

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.


  1. I love tomato bread! I can't wait for the Panera copycat.

  2. I love to bake bread, the whole process. I wrote about the process on my blog once. I generally need a hand with it though because I suffer with carpal tunnel, therefore I prefer the heavier mixing be done by my hubby or son. I cannot wait to try this, and your Panera copy cat recipe! YUM YUM

  3. Baking bread really intimidates me but I do love tomato bread - this sounds sooo good!

  4. There was a time, I used to bake all our bread and then some. Those were the days.

    This bread sounds like it is filled with flavor. What a difference some seasoning or tomato does.

  5. I love to bake bread and it's getting to be that time again (been too hot for it). Will have to try this recipe. Looks great and I can almost smell it baking! I've never had tomato bread.

  6. Debbie, this looks fantastic! I love tomato basil bread, but have never made bread. Unless you count banana bread and "helping" make sourdough when I was little. Am encouraged to try my hand soon!


  7. I have no bread maker either so I will make it the same way as you have. It sounds delicious. Diane

  8. I was thinking Panera when I saw the bread! It looks delicious!

  9. This sounds AMAZING!! Of course your sandwich was great.... anything on this bread would be great!

  10. I agree that using a bread machine is cheating! I had one years ago - the first time I used it I forgot to put the paddle in it - so it was still raw two hours after I started it - I was so mad!

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  11. Looks fantastic.. for sure im going to try it.. yummy....

  12. You make it look so easy...


  13. YUM! Gorgeous bread, Debbi! I bet it's so full of flavor...the color alone makes me happy =)

  14. Looks good, fresh baked bread is such a treat.

  15. This sounds delicious - I bet the tomato paste and basil gave it a gorgeous flavour. I also like the addition of the red pepper flakes - a nice bit of spice! I love how it looks too!

  16. I love making bread, but I don't usually have the time to make it. I think I want to MAKE the time to make this, though, because it sounds wonderful!!

  17. Thanks for linking up both your recipes. Feel free to link up as many as you want, as long, as they are meatless. The more the merrier.

    Your recipes are always so good, I love having them as one of the choices. The more we can share with others to give all of us ideas, the better it is.

  18. oh wow - this looks great! I can't wait to try it sometime. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Oh wow! What pretty bread! And I imagine the taste is equally as amazing!

  20. I hope you get this comment right away b/c I'm about to start this loaf and am not sure what "(bit heavy on this)" means--does it mean I should use less or more? If I don't hear from you, I'll just follow the recipe as is. Can't wait to have that Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich!

  21. I love a good tomato basil bread -- thanks for sharing this recipe!