T cubed has gone south to visit our parents. For most people, the extra sun might spark ideas of swimming in pools, eating ice cream, and tanning. I was struck by the idea that bread would rise like crazy in the heat. Yeah, I can be weird like that.
While plain whole wheat bread it good, a can of tomatoes sitting in the pantry gave me an idea. Why not spice it up with a tomato basil variation? Heck, if they make tomato basil bagels, why not a tomato basil bread?
It's like all the goodness of the pizza in one healthy snack, which is even more delicious with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- 3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 cups Warm Water
- 1 tsp Yeast
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
- ~2 tbsp Italian Herbs (e.g. Basil, Thyme, Oregano,Tarragon) depending on how herby you like your bread
- Combine first four ingredients. This should form a pretty wet dough that is very sticky
- Let rise in the sun outside for ~1 hour until doubled in size (Note: using plastic wrap and a metal bowl will cause it to heat up rapidly; I ended up covering my in a towel over the plastic wrap)
- Drain the tomatoes, keeping the juices. Then rinse the tomatoes (to remove excess sodium they usually pack in with canned foods) and add them to the dough. (Note: I added the tomatoes at this step so their acidity wouldn't retard the growth of the yeast)
- Add herbs to taste. Knead until incorporated
- Oil a cookie sheet and place the lump of dough in the middle. It will spread out with time.
- Let the dough rise outside for ~1 hour again until doubled in size
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Also, put a oven-proof, non-rustable container (I used a ceramic pie pan) filled with water inside. This will create a moist environment in the oven that is conducive to a better crust.
- Using the reserved tomato juices, paint the top of the dough. Beyond infusing the dough with more tomato-y goodness, this gives the crust a little extra sugar, which helps with the caramelization that creates a crispy crust.
- Put in the oven for ~30 min
Calorie Counters: The entire recipe has 1300 calories, 52 g protein, 6 g fat, and 43 g fiber