Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread

As a teenager, I used to work for Zeldenrust Farm Stand at the Saturday morning Glenview Farmers Market in Glenview, IL.  There was a bread company across the way that had the BEST Tomato Basil Bread.  I’ve been wanting to try making my own since I started experimenting with homemade bread a month or so ago, and decided today was a good day since we’re having Stuffed Shells for dinner tonight.  I found a recipe at tasteofhome.com and changed it up a little by adding sun dried tomatoes so that it would be more like my farmer’s market bread.  It turned out great, and I’ll be making it again soon!

SUN DRIED TOMATO BASIL BREAD

  • 2 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 3/4 c. warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/4 c. fresh minced basil (try using a pizza cutter – works great!)
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8-10 sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped (try using a scissors to make it a little easier)
  • 2 c. bread flour (+ up to 1/4 c. more if needed to make dough come together)

Pour water into mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar over.  Stir, set aside, and let proof for 5 to 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine all ingredients except flour in a bowl.  Once yeast has proofed, add other ingredients to mixing bowl and let dough hook go around a few times to combine.  Add flour, one cup at a time, and mix until dough comes together.  (I did have to add a few extra tablespoons of flour to make it come together – probably because sun dried tomatoes are kept in oil.) Once dough has come together, let mixer knead for another 3 or 4 minutes.

Form into ball and place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled*, about one hour.  Punch down, knead for one minute, and form into a round loaf.  Place on a greased cookie sheet, loosely cover with same plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled again.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Let cool on rack.

*I get impatient with the rising process, so I put a bowl of hot water in the oven and put it on ‘warm’ while I’m mixing the bread.  (Turn off when the dough goes in to rise.)  I turn the oven on ‘warm’ again while I’m doing the 2nd knead and then turn it off for the second rise.

PS – No pic because the fam scarfed it up before I could take one!  It comes out a pretty orangey color with pops of green from the basil and red from the sun dried tomatoes.

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