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Tomato Basil Bread - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Tomato Basil Bread

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  • Tomato Basil Bread

    I have been playing around with bread recipes and a friend mentioned a Tomato Basil bread from her local bakery. Of course I wanted to see if there were some recipes to choose from and so I settled on this one:

    1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast (I used 1tsp instant)
    3/4 cup warm water (110? to 115?) ( I used cool H2O)
    1/4 cup minced fresh basil (I used 1 TBSP tube Basil)
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (just used what my little one calls "shakey chz")
    2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used tube paste)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (omitted pepper flakes due to kids)
    2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups bread flour

    So obviously this is your standard make this bread after 2 rises. I am trying to use a cold fermentation rise on this dough and hope to bake off this evening. I'll let everyone know how this bread turns out. I am going to bake on my oven steel before trying in my WFO to see if any issues arise first.

    Does anyone have a Tomato Basil bread recipe that they use?

  • #2
    Re: Tomato Basil Bread

    Last night I baked my experiment. I used PR's basic instructions for baking Pain L'ancienne and applied those to my loaf. I haven't sliced it open yet to try but will post my comments when I do. I removed my cold dough which was mixed Wed PM and let it come to room temp. I removed it from the bowl and shaped it into a medium sized baguette and slashed it while waiting for my oven to preheat to 475F. Does slashing occur before oven entry? Meaning right before entry or slash & let rise again? The preheat & the slashing took about 20-30mins which is why I think I ended up with large baked slashes? Seriously, no idea but it looks good to me. I baked for 16 mins and an internal temp around 200F.

    One noticeable thing when baking bread in my regular electric oven with a baking steel is that there is no "crunch" on the top. I am adding hot water to a steam pan but it's not yielding traditional or at least in my sense a crunch to the top of the bread. Any suggestions?

    Will post some internal shots when we slice it open.


    • #3
      Re: Tomato Basil Bread

      It looks good.
      Old World Stone & Garden

      Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

      When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
      John Ruskin


      • #4
        Re: Tomato Basil Bread

        Think the tomato would get lost not only in color but taste. I would add diced sun dried tomatoes to the dough. little bits of goodness.

        Slash the bread just moments before you place in the preheated oven.. Could slash a bit deeper.

        Try placing an aluminum roasting pan over the loaf to trap the natural steam from the dough. Remove from the pan from over the loaf about half way through the bake. Don't let the cover pan touch the dough. Also bake to at least 205

        That does look good, looking forward to the crumb shot.


        • #5
          Re: Tomato Basil Bread

          Here is the crumb shot:

          Also, Ty Faith for the suggestion. If I cook in the WFO should I expect the same lack of crunch w/out covering?


          • #6
            Re: Tomato Basil Bread

            On a second look the lack of crunch is the olive oil in the formula. Omit the oil and you will get more crunch. Small amounts of oil soften the crust tremendously.

            in the WFO the crust is dependent on available steam so full ovens generate more steam. So if your doing just a few loaves in the WFO try the pan trick. It acts like a dutch oven and traps the steam closer to the loaves during the start of the bake.

            Could you taste the tomato? or was is lost with the cheese and basil?

            None the less it looks good enough to eat and that is all that counts ;-)


            • #7
              Re: Tomato Basil Bread


              The tomato is present & it could have used 1 more Tbsp of paste. The reason I used 2Tbsp in the beginning was because my tube of Cento said "double concentrate". I didn't want either the tomato or basil to overwhelm the bread flavor if that makes sense. I wanted them as background notes but have everything work together. Internally, I could/should have cooked longer but I started to see blistering/char developing on the surface. Must be from the sugars present from the tomato paste/sugar combo?