A sandwich is only as good as the bread it’s served on.
That’s where this amazing Tomato Basil Bread comes in!
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I’ve mentioned it before, but baking homemade bread is seriously one of my favorite pastimes. I find it fascinating how just a handful of very basic ingredients can be transformed in a matter of hours into an amazing loaf of bread. When I first learned to bake bread, I would follow the recipes exactly. Down to the very last gram of flour. And while I’m still very careful with my measurements, I’ve been enjoying playing around with different add-ins lately.
My wife and I love eating fresh tomatoes straight out of the garden. We slice the ‘maters up and top ’em with fresh basil, a pinch of salt and some olive oil. We were doing this the other day, and that’s when I got the crazy idea to use these flavors in bread. Tomato Basil Bread. Just think how good that sounds!
I hit the kitchen armed with my basic sandwich bread recipe. A bit of tomato paste and dried basil later, I was looking at this beautiful loaf of Tomato Basil Bread. It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
You guys know that Fat Daddio’s is my go-to for professional quality bakeware. Their pans are made from anodized aluminum which means they are light-weight but also bakery tough. While I might not be running a professional bakery out of my home kitchen, I do bake a lot. And I need my bakeware to last. Fat Daddio’s bread pans are temperature rated up to 550°F which means they are perfect for all types of bread baking. I suspect this bread pan is going to get a lot of use in the coming months!
I know some of you might be afraid of using yeast. Don’t be. I prefer to think of yeast as my little helper in the kitchen. It seriously does most of the work for you. If you’ve made a quick bread recipe (like this Raspberry Crumble Bread) before, then you can make this loaf of Tomato Basil Bread. The only difference is that this dough hangs out in a warm place for a couple of hours before going into the oven. I often just turn my oven light on and then put the dough in the oven. This creates a nice, confined warm spot for the dough to rise. (Just don’t forget to take the dough out when it comes time to preheat the oven!)
Now that Fall baking season has arrived, what is your favorite thing to bake?
Did you bake a loaf of this Tomato Basil Bread at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for more bread recipes? Check out these other favorites:
Tomato Basil Bread
- In the bowl of a countertop mixer, add the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, basil and crushed red pepper; stir until well combined.
- Add butter, milk and tomato paste; mix on low speed until blended.
- Increase speed to medium and mix for 3-4 minutes, or until dough is smooth.
- Place dough in a large bowl and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rest in a warm (85°F) location for 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
- Flip the dough onto a lightly oiled countertop and fold/press it into a 10" log. Place the dough seam-side down into a greased 10"x5"x3" bread pan.
- Spray top of dough with baking spray and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Place dough back in a warm location for 60 more minutes, or until dough has just begun to rise over the edge of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Slice the tomato thinly and pat slices dry with paper towels.
- Remove plastic wrap and brush top of loaf lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese on top of the loaf. Arrange tomato slices on top of dough and then sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Bake at 375°F for 33-38 minutes, or until top is golden brown in color.
- Let bread cool for 20 minutes in the pan and then turn loaf out onto cooling rack until fully cooled. (Note: If you aren’t planning on eating the bread within a couple of days, wrap it tightly and freeze it instead. This bread freezes quite well!)
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