Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tomato Romano Basil Bread

Tomato Romano Basil Bread
Most Saturday mornings I wake up well before anyone else in the house. It is a perfect time to get after making some bread.  Most bread I make takes around 2 1/2 hours to complete.  This is due to a one hour initial proof and then an additional hour of rising in the pan and finally a 25 minute bake.

I love Italian food and that was the inspiration for this loaf.  Romano cheese, basil, olive oil and tomato blend together wonderfully. I am not thrilled with the pictures I took of the loaves but the smell and taste is fantastic.

Difficulty: easy
Time Required: 2 1/2 hours

Key ingredients for Tomato Romano Basil bread

6 cups flour
2 1/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 cup diced Romano cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey


Mix all ingredients together. Turn dough out onto counter and kneed manually for a few minutes to make sure the dough is well combined.  This dough should be pretty moist. If it sticks to your fingers add more flour until it doesn't.  Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl that is at least twice the size of the ball.  Place the bowl in a warm place (in the winter I put it on a hot pad on lowest setting). Allow dough to proof (rest) for 1 hour.

Turn out dough from bowl onto counter and split into two equal parts.  Kneed and form into two loaf shapes.  Place these loaves into a greased medium to large bread pan.  Allow these loaves to rise for an additional hour.

After 45 minutes of the final rise preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Once the bread has risen for one hour cook the loaves for 25 minutes.  If you want a darker crust on top you can turn on your broiler for a couple of minutes.

That's it! Enjoy!!

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