Baking Goodness! / Dairy Free / Goodness on the Side! / Savory and Splendid! / Snacks / Using Freshly Ground Flour

Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread

20130409-171730.jpgMy post today originally appeared on the Grain Mill Wagon website and was inspired by me wanting to break the mold of my go-to whole wheat bread recipes. If you want to read my original post on the Grain Mill Wagon site click here {but I can assure you it is pretty much exactly the same thing!}

I have a couple of good, solid whole wheat bread recipes that I love and go to often. But, I was wanting try something new. I started thinking about other great tasting breads that I have eaten and my mind took a leap of remembrance to Panera Bread’s Tomato Basil bread. I have absolutely no idea how Panera makes their bread, and haven’t eaten it in a while. But once I started thinking about the possibility of making something like it, I really couldn’t get my mind off of it. I figured that it couldn’t be too hard.

This recipe makes 2 loaves. I figure if you are going to go to all of the effort of making one loaf, you may as well make 2 {or 3…or 4…} and then freeze them for those days that you aren’t really in a baking mood, but just in an eatin’ mood. {I won’t even tell you how many loaves of bread I made the other day! Well, okay…I will. It was 12. But, it was 3 different types of bread. And we have 8 people that normally eat in this house. Plus, I was in the mood to bake. And I figured I should stock up for those days ahead where I wouldn’t be in the mood for bread baking. And I know you aren’t supposed to start sentences with “and.” Okay, that’s all I’ve got…for now anyway.}

So, I hope you enjoy my rendition of Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread. I think it is pretty tasty, and am sure you will too! As always, enjoy! -Shelley.

Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread
{makes 2 loaves}
*Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2 1/4 c warm water
1 T yeast
6 T brown sugar + a little more for sprinkling on top of loaves
5 1/2 – 6 c whole white wheat flour {I used whole white wheat berries and ground them in my WonderMill grain mill}
4 T vital wheat gluten {makes for a softer, chewier whole wheat loaf of bread}
1 T salt
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
4 T dried basil
6 T tomato paste
1/4 c olive oil
1 egg, beaten for egg wash {optional}

Start off by grinding some white wheat berries in The WonderMill on “Pastry” setting. 4 cups of wheat berries = about 6 cups of flour. If you don’t have the ability to grind your own flour, using whole white wheat flour will work as well.



Add 6 T of lightly packed brown sugar to warm water.


Sprinkle yeast in sugar to allow yeast to proof for a few minutes, until bubbly.



Once yeast has proofed, add mixture to electric mixer {I used my Bosch mixer with dough kneader attachment.} Add olive oil…and tomato paste…


Add salt, basil, garlic powder, onion powder and vital wheat gluten…


Then give a little mix.


Add half of flour and mix until it is all incorporated.


Next, add remaining flour a little bit at a time, mixing in between additions until dough just pulls away from side of bowl.



I like, when I touch my finger to the dough, for it to still have some tackiness to it.


Knead for 8-10 minutes in mixer, or 10-15 minutes if kneading by hand.


When kneading is finished, using oiled hands shape dough into a large ball. Place in oiled mixing bowl and cover with clear plastic wrap.


Allow to sit in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.


Turn out onto a clean surface and separate into 2 pieces. With well oiled hands, shape into loaves, working air bubbles gently out as you shape into loaves.


I made one loaf in a bread pan…


And one as a round loaf.


Allow to rise until about doubled. If desired, beat one egg and use as an egg wash on the top of the loaves. This makes for a shinier top crust.



Then, sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on the top of the loaves for a little something extra.


If desired, using a sharp knife cut a “cross” in the top of a round loaf, or a straight line down the center of the pan loaf {although, the latter didn’t turn out exactly as I had envisioned. Oh well.}



Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Take out and allow to cool for just a minute before cooling the rest of the way on a cooling rack.




As soon as the bread is cooled, if not eating right away, place in a one gallon plastic bag. I would suggest if you aren’t going to eat the second loaf within about a day to freeze for retaining it’s freshness. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost….wa-lah – fresh bread!


One thought on “Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread

  1. Pingback: Honey Wheat Roll {and Bread} Recipe! |

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