Monday, May 24, 2010
Tomato Basil Bread
My husband and I frequently eat at the chain restaurant Panera Bread. They have pretty good food for your money and it is relatively quick to eat there without the greasy cheeseburgers. I typically have their turkey sandwich on tomato basil bread. It is a soft bread with a nice crust. The tomato and basil flavors are there but subtle. I decided that it should be a fairly simple recipe to try and recreate at home.
For my base recipe, I chose Peter Reinhart's White Bread Variation 1 out of his book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It was purported to be a soft bread, ideal for sandwiches. Exactly what I was looking for. Also, it used powdered milk and water to tenderize the bread rather than liquid milk, so I could easily substitute tomato juice for water. I chose to use V8 as my tomato flavor, because it is a bit thicker than plain tomato juice and it happened to be what I had on hand. I was also able to use fresh basil from my tiny herb garden on my deck. Because the V8 was thicker than water, I did need to use more of V8 than the recipe called for.
The bread turned out to be a nice soft yet sturdy sandwich kind of bread. My husband said it tasted like tomato soup in bread form. I think that it will make quite delicious grilled cheese.
Tomato Basil Bread loosely adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice
22.5 oz bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 cup nonfat instant milk
3T and 1/4 tsp sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 cups low sodium V8
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped up
Mix together dry ingredients. Pour in wet ingredients and mix together. Knead for 6-8 minutes or until dough passes the windowpane test. Dough at this point is quite wet. Allow to raise for 1 hour. Turn out onto well floured board and knead by had 2-3 minutes. Shape into loaves and allow to raise for another hour or so.
Egg wash if desired. Bake at 350 degrees until done. (Approximately 30-40 minutes)