This round breads' chewy crust pairs well with a steaming mug of soup. The pretty color and robust flavor are great conversation starters. —Darlene Hoefs, Schofield, Wisconsin
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- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups bread flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 cups flour. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down; knead for 1 minute. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- With a sharp knife, cut a large "X" in top of loaf. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Tomato Basil Bread in Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2002 , p178
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