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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tomato Basil Bread

Bread is not something I make daily, at least not often, but I do usually make some kind of bread at least a few times a week. Sometimes I just stick with quick breads if it is an especially busy week and other times I really crave the kneading process and the taste of freshly-baked yeast breads.

I have found that bread making easily fits in with my stolen moments methods. Most recipes are surprisingly quick to put together, especially after the first time. Whenever I can snag 15 to 30 minutes in the kitchen, I love throwing together a loaf of bread.

This bread is a family favorite. It goes with so many different meals and soups, and it's good on its own as a snack. Or, eat the way I like to - fresh out of the oven with a hunk of butter. I figure it is important to taste the bread I'm serving my family before I actually serve it to them. Honest, it's all for their benefit!

Tomato Basil Bread
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 t. yeast)
  • 3/4 c. warm water
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh basil (or 2 t. dried basil, oregano, or Italian seasoning)
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 c. flour (I use half whole wheat flour, half white flour)
1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 c. 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 1 hour.

2. Punch dough down; 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 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. (I would recommend you start checking after 25 minutes. My bread always seems to be done by 30 minutes.) Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

3 comments:

jayedee said...

i picked up a couple of bread machines ultra ultra cheap, at an auction last week. i don't care for the way they actually bake bread, but they knead my dough like nobody's business!

i adore tomato and basil bread. when i do mine, i chop some sun-dried tomatoes (i find 'em in the produce section packed in olive oil) and toss 'em in with the dough (i don't add any additional olive oil). those little bits of tomatoe make this bread fabulous! we'll go thru two loaves at a sitting!

i am really loving your blog....keep up the good work!

Sherry said...

This sounds yummy. I've never made a tomato basil bread, but we love bread. :D

Chef Tom said...

I think I might add a bread machine to my holiday wish list!