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Tomato Basil Bread

Comments : 36 Posted in : Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch on by : Chris Tags: , , ,

Tomato Basil Bread
Let’s talk bread.

Specifically, let’s talk about homemade bread. About this homemadeย delicious Tomato Basil bread that is super easy to make, even for those short on time (Baby Boy likes to keep us busy), or those not confident in their bread baking abilities.

Let’s talk about the type of bread that you can just throw together in between naps (baby’s, or your own if you prefer) and still have come out looking and tasting amazing.

Tomato Basil Bread
I’ve always wanted to bake bread, and to be a good bread baker. When I was in college I picked up an advanced bread baking book. It went over in painstaking detail every facet of baking bread, from the types of yeasts and flour to the various baking methods. Being young and naive, I bypassed most of that dry stuff (little bread humor for you) and focused squarely on what I thought was the coolest part of the book; building a brick oven!

Tomato Basil Bread
I wanted to build my own brick oven so I could bake the most delicious bread and pizza you could possibly imagine. Never mind that I was not in the least handy with tools (I’ve since acquired that skill, funny what owning an old home forces you to learn), or for that matter was not an experienced bread baker who could truly utilize a brick oven.ย In fact, I had never once made bread before.

And yet I wanted to build a brick oven. Who knows what was going through my head (probably images of delicious looking bread), but I enthusiastically started on my oven. ย I got as far as digging a 10 foot by 10 foot hole about a foot deep- in my parents’ backyard. Then I graduated college and left for Japan for a year (Have fun with that hole in your backyard, Mom and Dad!).

What good parents, not killing me.

Tomato Basil Bread
I never did build that brick oven. But I found out that you don’t need one to get delicious bread. And while I’ve had more than my fair share of failures, I’m inspired to keep going. I recently purchased some King Arthur Sourdough Starter after reading a number of delicious sourdough recipes on Sydney’s blog, Crepes of Wrath, that inspired me. I made my first test loaf over the weekend, and am looking forward to sharing many recipes.

But before we get into that, I wanted to kick things off with a simple recipe. And this Tomato Basil Bread is just that. Honestly, this recipe is very forgiving. There isn’t much more to it than throwing all the ingredients in your stand mixer and allowing for two risings before baking. No fancy techniques. No special starters or flours.

Oh, and no brick oven required.

Tomato Basil Bread
PS – We’re very excited to (pre)announce our very first give away. We’ll be sharing all the details in tomorrow’s post, so be sure to swing by!

Tomato Basil Bread

Cook Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees )
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced (may be substituted with 2 tablespoons dried basil)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 cups bread flour


  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes, and 2 cups flour. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down; knead for 1 minute. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet (or pizza stone). Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut a large "X" in the top of the loaf. Bake at 375ยฐ for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Cooking time: 35 minute(s)

Recipe from: Food.com

Tomato Basil Bread


36 thoughts

  • November 15, 2011 at 7:06 am

    this looks fantastic. i’m clearly on a homemade bread kick if you can’t tell from my post today but i love the flavor combo in this bread! would be great would soup! can’t wait to hear how your starter turns out.

    • Chris
      November 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Thanks Lindsay! Your new post has me hungry for more bread, they all look delicious! I’m looking forward to sharing how our attempts go ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Chris
      November 15, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Thanks Brandi! We had to keep ourselves from eating just the bread for lunch.

  • November 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

    This looks SO GOOD. My boyfriend’s college roommate used to make tomato basil bread (in his breadmaker, not quite so fancy) all the time, and it’s my favorite. Maybe *this* will be the post that will finally convince me things that need rising time are not scary…

    P.S. I laughed so hard at the image of you digging a giant hole in your parents’ backyard and then jetting off to Japan. Nice touch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Chris
      November 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

      Tara, I thought about you while writing the post. This is definitely a good bread to start with!
      Glad I entertained with my hole digging story – my parents are saints for letting me do that!

    • Chris
      November 15, 2011 at 11:39 am

      Noooo!! Heheh, jk. Glad that even with your dislike of tomatoes you like the look of this bread. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • November 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I had a good chuckle over that 10 foot hole in your parents’ backyard. How patient parents can be! This bread is so pretty to look at and I’m sure it tastes even better.

    • Chris
      November 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

      They are great role models, I hope I’m as patient when Baby Boy does something as silly to us (which he will – it always comes around) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • November 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Looks great! I can’t wait to see what you do with the starter!

    • Chris
      November 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

      I’ve got a ways to go before I’m baking like Kramer, but he’s inspired me ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • November 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    The bread looks awesome! It’s funny you dug a hole for your own brick oven. I hope you tried many kinds of bread in Japan.

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  • December 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    That looks and sounds amazing. I’m bookmarking this for next summer when my MIL brings us baskets of basil.

    • Chris
      December 7, 2011 at 8:16 am

      Thank you Launie! You will love this bread!

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  • September 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    So happy to have found your recipe. I had tomato basil bread with a sandwich at Panera’s and MUST have it at home! I will give this a try and let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Chris
      September 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Oh good! Yes, we are Panera lovers here and no joke, this Tomato Basil Bread is a pretty darn close sub to the real deal. Let us know how you like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Erika Bernal
    February 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    i made a loaf of this lastnight to test it,today i made four.
    i absolutely love it,its amazing.im pretty stoked i found this website,i love alot of the recipes ive looked at on here

    • Chris
      February 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      So glad you liked it Erika, thanks for sharing! And thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Pat
    February 4, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    This looks awesome! I’d love to try it but the boyfriend’s vegan, do you think the recipe can do without the cheese or with the vegan substitute (usually a soy based thing)?

    • Chris
      February 4, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Great question! Not sure! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d say give it a try, let us know what you think!

      • Heather
        November 29, 2015 at 5:44 pm

        I want to make this but i dont have a stand mixer….can it be done?

        • Chris
          November 29, 2015 at 7:10 pm

          Hi Heather. Sure, I don’t see why not. Just be prepared to do all the mixing and needing by hand. I used to make my own pizza dough entirely by hand. Not a daunting prospect by any means. Good luck and have fun!

    • Plant Candy
      August 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      I’m vegan too and just made it with nutritional yeast instead of cheese. Turned out good!

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  • Cecilia Goins
    March 11, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I just made this bread, and although I made a few mistakes, my husband loved it.

    Is the outer crust supposed to be crunchy?
    I used rapid rise yeast and I was not to sure it rose enough. Roughly, how tall was your bread when baked?
    When you mixed the yeast with the water, did you let it sit for awhile before proceeding with the other dry ingredients?

    I am definitely baking this again. Thank you. I have got to conquer my fear of yeast.

    • Chris
      March 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Cecilia

      So glad you guys liked it! To tell you the truth, it has been a few years since we last made it so I really can’t remember if it was crunchy or not. For the rapid ride yeast I always let it sit in the water to rise unless recipe tells me otherwise. Don’t fear the yeast! So many tasty recipes out there and recipes like this are fairly resistant to messing up. Keep up the baking and thanks for reading!

  • Elizabeth
    June 27, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Can I make this in a bread maker? I’m new to making bread and this is one of my favorites from penera!

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