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.
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 .