Friday, August 19, 2011

Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread


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
  1. Combine first four ingredients. This should form a pretty wet dough that is very sticky
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. Add herbs to taste. Knead until incorporated 
  5. Oil a cookie sheet and place the lump of dough in the middle. It will spread out with time. 
  6. Let the dough rise outside for ~1 hour again until doubled in size
  7. 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. 
  8. 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. 
  9. Put in the oven for ~30 min
  10. Enjoy!
Calorie Counters: The entire recipe has 1300 calories, 52 g protein, 6 g fat, and 43 g fiber

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