Tomato Basil Bread …..


My younger son simply loves Panera Bread’s tomato basil bread & wanted me to try baking it at home for him BUT without the sweet topping like Panera’s . I can not believe how easy it was to make. I found this recipe while searching online for an imitation of Panera Bread’s tomato basil bread.
Today I am bringing this bread as my entry for Angie’s Fiesta Friday Challenge #1
Source: Adapted from The Keenan Cookbook


1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup Lukewarm water
1/4 cup fresh basil OR 2 tablespoons dried basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes ( or to taste )
2 1/2-2 3/4 cups bread flour


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.
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.
Punch dough down; knead for 1 minute. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet .
Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
With a sharp knife, cut a large “X” in the top of the loaf. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

Note :

If you prefer sweet topping just like Panera’s Bread then you will be needing

2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp water

Mix tomato paste, brown sugar and about a teaspoon of water — enough to make coating the consistency of thick paint. Brush coating on loaf and return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

This bread makes perfect vegetable sandwich and goes very well with soups .




  1. Hello Shailja! I am co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday 15 with the lovely Jhuls and just wanted to say hello and welcome to the party! This recipe for Tomato and Basil Bread looks absolutely delicious and I can just imagine how delicious it would be, toasted and topped with fresh mozzarella, tomato and a drizzle of pesto – I will be trying this one for sure!! I hope you get a chance to check out the other party goers and hopefully make some new ‘friends’ too! Enjoy the party!

  2. Hello Shailja! I believe this will be your entry for Fiesta Friday Challenge #1. Am I correct? This bread sounds really good! I am still at war with yeast, but if ever I’ll be at peace with it, I’d love to try this. 🙂

  3. Yum, Shelly, I love it when people turn popular items in bakeries and coffee shops into a homemade treat. I’m sure your bread is better than Panera’s, too, without that sugary glaze on top. Wonderful job and thanks for bringing it to the party!

    1. Ngan my kids preferred the home made version as they don’t really like the sugary glaze . I made a small loaf as a trial and it was over within a few mins of coming out of the oven 🙂 . This bread had a little more tomato flavor then Panera’s .

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