Tomato Basil Loaf

Blogging Marathon, Tame the Yeast,

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My theme for this week is Tame the Yeast. This is the first time I am taking up tame the yeast theme for blogging marathon. This theme was introduced 3-4 months ago. I always avoided this theme as both of us are not very fond of breads. But when I saw the breads for this month, especially the tomato basil bread, I could not resist. I am glad I chose this theme and baked this loaf. It is colorful, flavorful and delicious.

Blogging Marathon, Tame the Yeast,

I followed the recipe as given except for the flour. I have baked a few breads here and there but I am not an expert bread baker and also am not very fond of breads. I did not want to experiment baking breads with whole wheat flour just yet, as these breads tend to be a little dense. I used all purpose flour (APF) instead of ½ wheat flour (atta flour) and ½ APF as the recipe called for.

Blogging Marathon, Tame the Yeast,

The recipe was easy but time consuming as the bread has to rise twice before it goes to into the oven. The first rise is without shaping the loaf and the second is after shaping the loaf. The only challenging part of this bake was doing the doneness test. I tapped the center top and it sounded hallow. I was still unsure and cut a slice to check if it was done. Since it took longer to bake in my oven, I was afraid I might end up with hard bread if I baked a little longer and removed it from the oven. Yet I was unsure the center might not have baked completely. After baking the bread, chatting with the BM group I learned that just like cookies, even breads continue to cook as they cool. Then I was glad I removed the bread when I did. As the bread cooled, it was perfectly cooked. It was soft and airy. I loved it! I took the pictures before the bread completely cooled and the bread doesn’t look very air, but it was. In the collage below, the last picture is after the bread cooled completely which I took with my iPhone, Instagram.

Source: Veena, she adapted the recipe from Tarla Dalal’s cookbook
Total Time: 2 hr 45 minutes
Preparation: 20 – 25
Rise Time: 1 hr 40 minutes
Baking Time: 38 – 40 minutes
Serves: 3 – 4


  • 1 packet Active Dry Yeast (recipe called for 1 ½ tsp. but I used one packet which is about 2 tsp. I did not want to store that ½ tsp yeast)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/3 – ½ cup Warm Water
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour (check note below)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Puree (I used Pomi strained tomatoes)
  • ¼ cup Sundried Tomatoes (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then chopped roughly)
  • ¼ cup Fresh Basil roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil


  • Measure all the ingredients and keep ready.
  • Mix together flour and salt.
  • Add yeast and sugar to warm water and let it rest for at least 2 minutes. Yeast will foam that means yeast is good to go. I used about ½ cup of warm water.
  • Add yeast mixture and tomato puree to flour, and knead well for 5-7 minutes to make soft pliable dough. I was tempted to add more water to make a softer dough but held back. I was glad I did not add more water as the dough become softer after the first rise.
  • Oil a wide mouthed bowl and place the dough in it. I used about 1 tbsp. oil to oil the bowl. Cover the bowl and keep in warm place to let it double in size. This will take about an hour. It could take long in cold weather.
  • Once the dough doubles, punch it down a little and add sun-dried tomatoes, basil and knead again. Add remaining 2 tbsp. oil and knead the dough. If the dough is very soft add a little flour but it won’t be necessary.
  • Dust a rolling surface with flour and roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately ¼” thickness. Shape it into a loaf by rolling it from long side.
  • Grease a baking tray or place a parchment paper on a tray.
  • Place the loaf on the prepared tray, cover it loosely with kitchen towel or saran wrap and let it rise again for 30-40 minutes.
  • 30 minutes into 2nd rise of the bread, preheat the oven to 350F/180C. It will take almost 10 minutes for the oven to preheat.
  • Brush the top with egg wash or milk. I forgot to do this step.
  • Bake in a 350F / 180C preheated oven for 20 minutes or till done. It took almost 40 minutes in my oven. I baked for 38 minutes until tapped on the top of the bread sounded hallow. Though I baked for 38 minutes, I felt could have baked for another couple of minutes to make 40 minutes bake time. The bread will continue to cook as it cools. I was unsure if my bread was done but as the bread cooled completely, it was perfectly baked, soft and airy.
  • Let the bread cool completely and slice it. I was impatient to wait for the bread to cool and cut it before it completely cooled. The bread in the photos is not as airy as it was once the bread cool. You can see the airy texture of the bread in tomorrows post and also the last image in the collage above.


  • I used all purpose flour to bake this bread. If one wishes, they can use ½ wheat flour and ½ all-purpose flour and the bread is going to be a little dense than the one baked with only APF.
  • Temperatures vary from oven to oven. Keep an eye on the bread from 20 minutes into baking. It took almost 40 minutes in my oven. Also, bread continues to cook as it cools. The test for doneness of the bread is, it should sound hallow when tapped on the top of the bread and the crust is brownish in color.

This day in 2013: Aloo Pakoda

Blogging Marathon: To know more about the various themes and participating bloggers for this marathon, checkout the blogging marathon page

20 thoughts on “Tomato Basil Loaf

  1. I agree bread baking tends to be laborious but the results are worth it. The bread has come out so soft and looks very good

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